Derek Marshall resigns as high school principal; Candis Haskell will assume duties on July 1st

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In a span of four days, Derek Marshall went from overseeing the Switzerland County High School graduation ceremonies to announcing his resignation at high school principal.

Switzerland County Superintendent Tracy Caddell confirmed early Wednesday morning that Derek Marshall had resigned in order to become the principal at Scottsburg High School. He was officially hired by the Scott County School Board at its meeting on Tuesday night. He will begin his new duties in Scottsburg on July 1st.

“We’re really going to miss Mr. Marshall,” Superintendent Caddell said Wednesday morning. “He’s been an outstanding administrator for us for the last three years, and it’s a downer for us because we’re losing a good administrator. It’s also a positive for Scottsburg, who’s getting a great person for their job.”

Derek Marshall came to Switzerland County High School three years ago as the assistant principal and athletic director. After one year in that position, he assumed the principal’s duties from Vern Waltz.

As Derek Marshall leaves the principal’s position, it didn’t take long for the school system to fill the vacancy.

Candis Haskell, who has been a principal in the Switzerland County system for the past 10 years, will take over as the high school principal on July 1st. She currently serves as principal of the middle school, where she has been for the past two years; and prior to that was principal of Switzerland County Elementary School for eight years.

“Mrs. Haskell has requested a transfer to the high school, and I have approved that transfer,” Tracy Caddell said.

With Candis Haskell moving to the high school, that leaves an opening at the middle school, and the superintendent said that the vacancy will be filled after a screening process.

“The middle school position will be opened up, and a committee will be formed with (assistant superintendent) Darin Gullion as the chairperson,” Tracy Caddell said. “The committee will have a couple of teachers, a member of the non-certified staff, and a parent on it; and that committee will make a recommendation of two or three names to me. I will then take at least two names to the school board.”

As for a timeline to fill the vacancy, Tracy Caddell said that with everything happening so quickly, he really hadn’t had time to consider a timeline; but hopes to have someone in place by the July 17th school board meeting, if possible.

“That would be our goal,” he said.

“One constant in education is change,” the superintendent said. “We’re sad to be losing Mr. Marshall, but we’re also excited for Mrs. Haskell, who will do an outstanding job.”

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Derek Marshall said that his decision to leave Switzerland County is “bittersweet”, but the opportunity to lead Scottsburg High School, 50-percent larger than Switzerland County with a student enrollment of 900, was just too good to pass up.

As he leaves after three years, he has fond memories of his time here.

“I’m going to miss a lot of good people down here,” he said Wednesday morning while continuing his duties at the high school. “First, this is a great place, and it’s also a great community. I think we’ve had a lot of positive things happen at the high school during the last three years. I definitely think it’s headed in the right direction.”

Derek Marshall will continue here until the end of June, finishing up some “loose ends” on projects that he has started, and also making sure that plans and programs already implemented don’t die off as he leaves. He will also be working with Candis Haskell in order to make a smooth transition from one administration to the next.

“Great kids and great people,” Derek Marshall said of Switzerland County. “I’m just really proud of what we’ve done here. There’s so many good people here. I’m going to miss a lot of people.”

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“I’m very excited,” Candis Haskell said about her new position as high school principal. “It’s a wonderful opportunity and I’m looking forward to it.”

With 10 years as an administrator in the Switzerland County system, many of the students that she will have at the high school she will have taken through their school careers — and it is working with that next phase of children that Candis Haskell is looking forward to the most.

“The biggest thing I’m looking forward to is working with that age level of kids and young adults,” Candis Haskell said. “They are beginning to understand life beyond school, and the choices that they have. They are on the verge of adulthood, and I’m looking forward to working with that age level of student.”

Calling herself a “hands-on” administrator, Candis Haskell said that she wants to work closely with students and staff members to bring more overall student involvement to the high school.

“I think one of the biggest challenges that I have is that I need to somehow get students more involved in everything that is offered at the high school, especially extra curricular things,” she said. “I want to see the band improved, and have more students involved in the arts and plays. I want to see more involvement with the academic teams and programs like that. That’s when kids taken ownership in their school, when they have a stake in it.”

Candis Haskell said that she is looking forward to meeting with Derek Marshall as part of her transition to the high school; and she said that she will continue to work in her duties as middle school principal until the official change comes on July 1st.

“I hope to bring some of that interest in school back,’ Candis Haskell said, “And that’s done through the teachers. That’s how that’s done.”