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Marion announces new principals

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BY Samantha Oyler - soyler@chronicle-tribune.com

Marion Community Schools (MCS) will experience some changes when the new school year rolls around as new principals were announced at a school board meeting Tuesday.

Superintendent Brad Lindsay said the board had “made some outstanding hires,” many of whom were already a part of the school’s faculty.

Ashlee Dixon will be the new principal of Riverview Elementary School.

The Marion High School graduate previously served as the school’s assistant principal for three years under former principal Lendon Schwartz, whose resignation was effective July 4.

Dixon began her career with MCS in 2011 as a teacher.

“Not only am I a Giant by choice, but it’s in my blood,” Dixon said.

Both Dixon and representatives of Marion Community Schools expressed gratitude for all the work Schwartz has put in.

“In the six years I have known Ashlee Dixon, as a teacher and then as assistant principal at Riverview, I have appreciated her positive, all-win commitment to our students, families and staff, and to our Marion Community Schools mission," Lindsay said.

The school board also announced Stephanie Lockwood will be the director of secondary instruction for the 2019-2020 academic year.

After that, she will move on to the role of principal of McCulloch Junior High School for the 2020-21 school year. 

Lockwood was a teacher for years before she pursued educational leadership in the county for nearly 15 years.

Education has been as family affair for Lockwood. She said her parents have a combined 70 years of teaching under their belts.

“I think I get my passion for education first and foremost from my mom and dad,” she said.

Lockwood said she would give the school and everyone in it 150 percent of what she’s got.

In other business, assistant superintendent for business affairs Bob Schultz updated the board on the search for potential solar energy projects that could save the corporation money.

Shultz said the school system could be facing up to a 10 percent increase in energy costs, but an energy project could help avoid that.

Teachers from Marion High School also presented the school's Advanced Placement (AP) test results.

More than 150 students in grades 10-12 took tests in six different content areas. One student took seven different tests this year. 

Across the board, 162 of the 293 tests taken received passing scores. This means that roughly 56 percent passed.

Tests in content areas like science and art received more passing grades than others, but teachers believe even if a student doesn’t receive a passing grade, simply taking an AP course could help students develop confidence better prepare for higher education.