Roger Riddell, K-12 Dive |
The K-12 Dive awards are given for the people and districts that have shaped education in a year like no other.
The local school district, Middletown City School District, serves 6,400 students and has a 99% free and reduced-price lunch rate. Even without a pandemic and a national reckoning over systemic racism and inequity, it is a scenario where transformational leadership is imperative.
And one where Superintendent Marlon Styles has been “a game-changer,” Middletown Board of Education President Chris Urso tells Education Dive. While the district’s prior leadership was good, he said, Styles brought a vision for transformation needed to move its schools forward.
“We need to do a better job in the education profession of challenging each other to hold true to what we value in our cores.”Marlon Styles
Superintendent, Middletown City School District
“The mode of leadership was very direct,” Urso said. “It wasn’t transformative in the sense of bringing stakeholders together, being innovative, trying to think outside of the box. Marlon has really reset our district in all kinds of different ways.”
Where the district used to be a stopover for educators looking to gain professional development, it’s now a destination, he said. “He attracts people to want to work here.”