By America Achieves Program Associate Marcus Markle
As I reflect on transitioning from the Fellowship Team to serve the President and our country under U.S. Secretary of Education, John King, as the Secretary's Deputy Director of Advance, three key lessons come to mind. These three lessons in particular are absolutely worthy of mention - I’ll be taking with me on my new adventure.
Empathy is Everything
Today’s world is too often full of closed hearts and minds. Every day, educators work tirelessly to open those up, from the students in the classroom to the district office buildings. I can’t wait to bring this along with me and continue the work that has been led by folks like you at the Department. When you walk in someone else’s moccasins, you understand more. Compassion is a powerful thing.
Voice is Power
Taking a stand is not easy nor rosy. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Our lives begin to end when we become silent about the things that matter.” Each of you have inspired me with the courage and bravery you exude every time you speak with policymakers about the issues that matter, especially with regard to equity and access for our most vulnerable, marginalized, and disenfranchised.
One of the extraordinary elements of this Fellowship has always been the enduring and unbreakable bonds that we forge together. Each of you are outstanding by any definition - standing out because of what you’ve accomplished and achieved through your leadership, challenging yourself to go beyond the status quo. This community continues to grow, encompassing more people who have had the opportunity to interact with each of you.
The last two years at America Achieves have left, needless to say, an indelible mark upon my career and life, not least of which is due in large part to you. Not a moment will go by when I don't think fondly upon your positive influence on my professional and personal trajectory. Thank you for all you do.
Marcus joined the team in 2014 to help spearhead the launch of the Fellowship's educator voice networks in three states: Colorado, Michigan, and New York. Marcus draws his nearly decade-long experience in education from his studies at U.C. Berkeley’s Graduate School of Education where he earned a M.A. in the MUSE (Multicultural Urban Secondary English) program and a California Teaching Credential. He spent his time in the classroom in a wide variety of high-need settings, from the Mission District of San Francisco and Fruitvale District of East Oakland to northeast Los Angeles, where he was a founding teacher, and Morgan Hill, CA, where he was an Advanced Placement teacher. In his free time, he enjoys roaming the European countryside in search of adventure, which is rooted in his love (and undergraduate study) of decoding medieval manuscripts.