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Another Wildcat Graduates

Matt Smith, Staff Writer

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It’s 4:30 in the morning and you’re sound asleep in your bed, but Dr. Scott is wide awake getting exercise.  Whether it’s running with co-workers, practicing yoga, or cycling at a spin class, she’s getting active, before settling into her desk.

 

Excellent Environment

Nine years ago, when Dr. Marina Scott first arrived at Libertyville High School after serving as the associate superintendent in the District 128 office, she instantly fell in love with the environment that LHS had to offer. When Dr. Scott came here, there wasn’t much she wanted to change, she said; her main goal was to create an environment for students to continue excelling in.

“I think when you’re a leader, it’s not what you want, it’s not what you’re doing. It’s that you create the environment where everyone can be their best self,” expressed Dr. Scott.

Dr. Scott put in a lot of dedication in order to achieve this environment, according to LHS social studies teacher Mr. Bill Mix: “Her enthusiasm was pretty contagious and I think that she genuinely loved running the school and working with the kids. That’s always helpful as a teacher that the leadership is doing that.”

Teachers like Mr. Mix could tell that maintaining a positive environment was one of Dr. Scott’s main goals. “I think everything she tried to put forward, she did it with [this kind of environment] in mind and tried to put students first,” he said.

Because students were already succeeding in the LHS environment, Dr. Scott made an effort to bring more student leadership into the school.

“I see student leadership in student organizations. I see student ideas coming forward in classrooms and I’m proud of that. It’s not me that’s doing that, it’s the environment that we created together,” said Dr. Scott.

Mr. Ray Albin, an assistant principal who works closely with Dr. Scott, confirmed that greater student leadership was a goal of hers: “Allowing greater student voice within the school, [the] best example there would be our assemblies that we have here. Very rare[ly], if ever, do we have adults that are talking. They’re student-led and they’re student-run, through some amazing leadership.”

In addition, the Link Crew program, which promotes student leadership by allowing upperclassmen to teach freshman about LHS, began during Dr. Scott’s time here . Link Crew also ended up helping the freshmen be more included, as freshmen started to be invited into the student section during Friday night football games.

According to Dr. Scott, she cites the creation of the current environment of LHS, as well as the involvement of more students in leadership positions, as the biggest accomplishments of her tenure.

Relationships made…

One thing Dr. Scott is going to miss the most is the people in and around LHS: “I’ll drive by the building, and I’ll be like, ‘Ahh,’ but the people in it…are what touch your lives and change them,” explained Dr. Scott.

“People [at LHS] are so receptive, people are so hardworking, people are wanting to get better and better and better and just that positive energy that is generated from all of that [was one of my favorite parts at LHS],” expressed Dr. Scott.

In addition, the people at LHS are what influenced her life a lot as well. “I feel like I’ve been impacted by getting to know so many people, to understand what it’s like to be a student, to be a teacher, to be a parent in changing times. To feel the pressure on [students] whether it’s getting good grades or going to college or getting involved, you know, all those kinds of things. It’s impacted me every single day,” said Dr. Scott.

In addition to the people at LHS, Dr. Scott will miss the relationships she shared with these people. While at the district office, she felt a little far removed from the all the relationships at the school.

“[The students] were always at the forefront of everything that revolved around the school. Any decision that she was having to look at, that had always came back to, ‘How can I help? How can I help the students in the building? Or help someone to do something that they want to do?’” expressed Mr. Albin.

Throughout her tenure as principal, her interactions with the people around LHS put her in many different roles.

“I think that the responsibility is that you have to be everybody’s boss, you have to try to be their friend, try to be their colleague, you try to be their mentor, so I think she had to do each of those roles,” explained Mr. Mix. “So, at times she was a tough leader and sometimes she would try to be your friend and sometimes she was a collaborator, so I think I saw a little bit of everything.”

One way Dr. Scott made these relationships was by going to different school events. “She went to more events than I think people realize. There wasn’t a fine arts event or an athletic event, or activity, a major activites event, that she wasn’t here for,” expressed Mr. Albin. “I don’t know how she was able to fit them all in, but she was in the background and in all the things that happened around here, Dr. Scott was ever present. She wanted to know what was going on and not just be told about it; she wanted to experience it herself.”

Dr. Scott also had a lot of interactions with students at LHS. According to Dr. Scott, her favorite thing about interactions with students was that “you’re constantly learning. You’re constantly problem solving, so it’s challenging.  You’re constantly looking at ways to make something that is already good better, so that’s a good position to be in.”

Dr. Scott especially enjoyed being able to celebrate the success of everyone — she instituted the state championship marches — whether it’s just personal accomplishments, athletics or academics.

Come June, when she ends her time in education, she will miss the job.

“It’s really not like work in some cases,” she said. “I mean, it’s long hours, but when you enjoy it and you enjoy the benefits of it, it’s really not like work anymore. I think that’s what I like best about this job.”

 

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