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Principal who brought enthusiasm to Corydon Intermediate to resign

The resignation of Marv Marino, principal of Corydon Intermediate School since the 2000-2001 academic year, was accepted by the South Harrison Community School Corp. Board of Trustees on Feb. 4. The resignation will be effective this spring at the conclusion of his contract.
After commuting to Fort Wayne most weekends to visit his elderly parents, Marino decided to relocate closer to them, the principal said in a letter that outlined his many accomplishments at CIS.
A Fort Wayne native, Marino, 49, began a career in business before finding his niche in education at age 30. He earned a degree in education from St. Francis University in Fort Wayne and an Indiana University master’s degree at an extension school in Fort Wayne. That degree qualified him to be a school principal.
CIS includes fourth, fifth and sixth grades. While fourth and fifth are self-contained, sixth grade is departmentalized – students have a different teacher for each subject.
Marino said the sixth grade schedule was a “bit short on instructional minutes” during his first year. A new schedule was devised to increase instructional time in math, social studies and science, from 45 to 60 minutes and language arts from 90 to 120 minutes.
That same year, fifth-grade class sizes reached 29 and 30 students. Marino collected data about all the class sizes and gave a presentation to the board. In 2001-2002, the school was given an additional sixth-grade teacher to accommodate the spike in enrollment – a record class size at CIS.
ISTEP results that year indicated the school had reversed a four-year decline in scoring on the state standardized test. The school continually increased the percentage of students receiving As and Bs and earning honor roll, citizenship and perfect attendance awards.
Prior to Marino’s arrival, extracurricular activities at CIS consisted mostly of sports. Now the school has a 65-voice choir for which Marino is the pianist, a 38-member student council, additional Destination Imagination academic teams, a parent-sponsored drama dinner theater, a dance team, and others.
Marino was present for the school’s first Learning Fair, Family Fun Night and the implementation of the Four Block Program – a proven, school-wide instructional program in language arts.
“We’ve really been able to accomplish a lot as a family and really been able to add a lot for students,” Marino said, adding, “I’m pretty confident that someone could come in now, and with all this in place, keep it going.”
Though the school board did not vote on Marino’s resignation until this month, he tendered it on Dec. 1 to give the school system more time to find suitable candidates, he said.
“I definitely want to do everything I can to make it a wonderful transition,” he said.
During the Feb. 4 school board meeting, CIS parent Brenda Reed asked the board to reconsider accepting Marino’s resignation. Supt. Neyland Clark said he had spoken with Marino earlier that day and the principal intended to continue with the resignation.
Reed said Marino “made communication key between staff members and parents.”
Marino also prioritizes communication with the students. He has written hundreds of letters to students who have achieved, or just tried, during his relatively short career at CIS.
In other board business:
— Corydon Central Junior High School Principal Mark Eastridge and teacher Judy Love proposed the school’s Washington, D.C., field trip which occurs every two years. The trip will cost $729 per student. The price includes airfare, meals, lodging, admissions, and tour guides. A South Central trip by bus is also being planned.
The trip passed with only board president Sue Haake voting in opposition. Haake always opposes the trip because, she said, it is perceived as a school trip and some kids’ families cannot afford it. A similar trip is offered to Kevin Trobaugh’s CCHS Honors English class. Haake said Trobaugh’s trip was an exception because it’s a class trip rather than a school trip and the students are old enough to work part-time if necessary.
— Cardinal fencing was awarded a bid 4-3 to fence the athletic complex at CCHS. The board was in disagreement concerning bid specifications. The architect had been consulted and said there was not a discrepancy in the materials submitted by bidders, Clark said.
— The resignation of Kathy Hopper, administrative assistant to the superintendent, effective Feb. 28, was also accepted. Hopper cited health and family concerns as the cause for her resignation. (An article on Hopper will appear in the Feb. 19 issue of The Corydon Democrat.)
— A Corydon Central High School custodian was terminated at the principal’s recommendation for reasons related to performance of duty.
— A job posting was approved for the newly created weight trainer position at CCHS. The post has been vacant since it was approved one year ago.