Jason Walsh told the Los Banos Unified School District Board Thursday that teachers have been asking him about the new superintendent, Mark Marshall.
The teachers union president said he quipped to his coworkers that they shouldn’t repeat what he had to say.
“I look around the teacher’s lounge and make sure nobody else is around,” Walsh said, recounting a conversation with a fellow teacher. “I said, ‘On the down low ... He is amazing, in every way. It’s an exciting time for the district.’”
The playful praise from Walsh was part of a congratulatory meeting in which board President Anthony Parreira and Marshall literally put pen to ink on a contract making Marshall the new permanent superintendent.
Marshall is the first black superintendent in the district, Parreira said, adding that Marshall might also hold the same distinction for Merced County.
“I think it’s wonderful,” Parreira said. “He’s a great role model and he has a great track record.”
Marshall said the excitement was mutual after signing the contract as he tied the success of his administration to the partnerships he wants to build with the community and school district stakeholders.
Marshall, 51, will start leading the district as its first permanent superintendent in more than a year on July 1 on a three-year contract that will pay him an initial base salary of $188,941, in addition to a $1,000 annual stipend for holding a doctorate degree in education.
Acting Superintendent Dean Bubar will move back down to his former assistant superintendent position once Marshall takes over.
Marshall will be afforded the same healthcare and fringe benefits as other managerial district employees, along with 12 sick days per year that can be accumulated.
Marshall is required to work 227 days out of the year, or a total of 45 weeks and two days.
While Marshall won’t be provided with a vehicle expense, he will be reimbursed for mileage.
Marshall will be evaluated by the school board every year. The board has the option to terminate his employment with or without cause.
The contract also includes an “abuse of office” clause, denying payments to Marshall if he is convicted of a crime that is considered an abuse of his position.
The clause is new to the contract due to a recommendation by the state school board association, Parreira said.
The district will pay for his professional membership dues to the Association of California School Administrators, California Association of African-American Superintendents and Administrators and the American Association of School Administrators, or AASA, as well as for one local community service organization.
The district will also pay for Marshall’s $6,000 tuition for the two-year National Superintendent Certification Program by the AASA.
Marshall will be given a maximum of $6,000 for relocating from Lancaster, where he was the superintendent of Eastside Union School District overseeing four schools with 3,400 students.
Los Banos is more than triple the headcount with 12 schools.
Trustees congratulated Marshall on the contract Wednesday.
“I have his resume, and I read it over and over and over,” Trustee Gary Munoz said. “I can already feel the faith that our district is going to move forward.”
Marshall holds several degrees and certifications, including a doctorate in educational leadership from Auburn University in Alabama. He has also served as Eastside Union’s superintendent for five years after holding other administrative positions.
Marshall will take the helm of a district and school board that has been rattled by an investigation into bribery involving two former school board members, low state test scores and a need for more space with a growing district population.
Parreira said the board wanted stability in the district, which Marshall plans to provide.
“Over the next month and a half, I’m looking to transition here,” Marshall said, noting that he was looking for homes in the area. “I know this is a good fit.”
Vikaas Shanker: 209-826-3831, ext. 6562