It is not very often that someone chooses their desired career path early on in life and sticks with it until the end, but for Lisa Marks, education was a sure thing.
Marks grew up in La Porte County and graduated from La Porte High School. She then pursued her bachelor’s degree in elementary education at Ball State University.
After college, Marks took a job at Indian Trail Elementary School for 13 years.
“I know it may sound cliché, but ever since I was little, I’ve always wanted to be a teacher for many reasons. The main reason, though, is because of all the amazing teachers I’ve had throughout my life who have guided me on my path and had a lasting impact on me. I wanted to do the same for students,” Marks said.
Marks decided to pursue her degree in education administration, and, although hesitant at the thought of leaving the classroom, she decided to go for it.
“Throughout this journey, it has been quite incredible to go from a classroom teacher to an administrative role,” Marks said. “I never thought I would leave the classroom because of the relationships I was able to build with my students and help them understand the greatness they had inside of them beyond academics.”
But as she continued with her schooling, Marks realized being an administrator was exactly what she wanted to do all along.
“I wanted to broaden the level of care that I was able to give within the classroom. As an administrator, I am able to help new teachers, students, families, and more,” she said.
After receiving her administrative degree three years ago, Marks served as assistant principal at Paul F. Boston Middle School. Soon after, the LaPorte Community School Corporation put all 5th and 6th graders into one brand new school building, creating Kesling Intermediate School. Then they placed all 7th and 8th graders into La Porte Middle School which in turn replaced Paul F. Boston Middle School in the process. Marks then continued her role as assistant principal at Kesling Intermediate School, where she has served for about a year.
“As assistant principal, one of my goals is to erase the stereotype surrounding the role, such as, ‘You’re only in trouble when you talk to one,’ or, ‘They only have bad news to share,’” Marks said. “My staff and I do many positive things to get rid of this stereotype such as calling home in recognition of good things to be shared and always making sure to focus on the positives because they truly do outweigh the negatives in most cases.”
Through the COVID-19 shut down, Marks’ favorite aspect of her job remains witnessing all of the love that’s available to go around.
“Watching how everyone came together and created this amazing atmosphere of love for children so fast was just incredible,” Marks said. “The levels that each and every staff member has gone to in order to create this loving atmosphere even from a distance has been my favorite part of the job so far.”
Marks has also discovered an aspect of her job she didn’t expect to uncover at first.
“I learn things every day from the teachers, the kids, my staff, and I think that’s a key part of my job. It’s a learning experience across the board and I learn something from all of them every single day,” Marks said.
In her free time, Marks enjoys spending time with her husband and two boys.
“They definitely keep me busy. We love baseball, the outdoors, and all summer-related activities,” she said.
On the day-to-day, Marks carries with her a little piece of advice:
“If you know me, you know I am a huge advocate of being kind. In all actions, regards, and communications, lead with kindness,” she said.
Looking forward, Marks hopes to continue to watch Kesling grow over time.
“I’m excited to see it grow and make it as phenomenal as it is now and better in the future,” she said. “As a team across the board, it’s so fun to work with like-minded individuals who have similar thoughts on how to bring future success and growth to the school.”