Longtime Shorthorn named new Marfa High School principal

MARFA — The Marfa ISD School board has named Allison Scott to fill the role of high school principal. From classroom teaching to administration, Scott’s extensive experience set her up to take on the job, which begins July 1.

Scott grew up in Marfa, graduating from Marfa High School and later returning to Marfa ISD for almost fifteen years after working in journalism and graphic arts. At the small school, she taught journalism, English, speech, reading, yearbook and became a school counselor. When she helped launch the local community health clinic, she shifted to working there, but a year and a half in, she was missing the classroom and the kids.

She had been working on her administrative training, and applied to jobs in Marfa, Alpine and Fort Davis that year. It landed her in her most recent role, serving seven years as the principal at Fort Davis ISD’s Dirks-Anderson Elementary School.

When the Marfa High School principal position opened due to John Sherrill’s departure, Scott jumped at the chance to work in Marfa again. She calls it “coming home” and loves the idea of living and working in the same community once again. At the Monday board meeting — a socially-distanced gathering in the school’s auditorium, three rows between each person — Scott told the board, “Once a Shorthorn, always a Shorthorn.”

Superintendent Oscar Aguero is happy to have her. “She’s a big part of the community, and I’m sure big things are to come with her,” he said. Scott was voted in on Monday, receiving a 5-0 approval, with one board member absent and another abstaining due to their longstanding friendship with Scott.

Scott takes on the job at a very unique time in education, as schools are closed and distance learning has shaken up every classroom. “The most obvious obstacle is with online instruction,” Scott said. “Kids are going to have gaps in what they need to know to move on to the next grade.” It’s something she said will have to be addressed, first by assessing where students are, then by helping them catch up.

The other obstacle “is the unknown — will schools open in the fall, and if they do, how will they stay open?” she asked. With her start date in July, Scott will be setting up what she calls “plan A, B and C,” contingencies that will depend on where Marfa stands with coronavirus in August.

As far as goals for the school, Scott complimented the school’s rapid progress in improving their state assessment scores, a success she hopes to continue. “I want to be able to see what’s worked for the school and move forward from there.” Her first order of business will be to sit down, listen to the teachers and support their needs.

Scott said, “I’m very excited to take on this new challenge. I love my Marfa community, the students and the teachers. I’m looking forward to it.”