Burnsville activities director leaving the district

Marshall will be dean of students at Edina High School

Jeff Marshall, who has worked at Burnsville High School as a teacher, coach, counselor and currently activities director, is leaving to become dean of students at Edina High School.

Marshall announced the move on the Burnsville activities department Twitter account (@BurnsvilleSport) on Tuesday. “With mixed emotions, I will be leaving BHS Activities to become the new Dean of Students at Edina High School,” he wrote. “It has truly been an honor and pleasure to have served the students of Burnsville High School for the past 20 years.”

He will start his new job in Edina next week. Marshall said an opening for an interim activities director has been posted in School District 191, with the goal to have it filled within a few weeks. In the meantime, newly hired assistant activities director Brian Skelly and longtime administrative assistant Jeanine Riggs will keep things running.

“This was difficult,” Marshall said Wednesday. “When you leave after 20 years, you feel like you’re leaving family.”

Marshall said personal and professional reasons led to the move. It will help him build his administrative resume toward becoming a school principal, which he said is a long-range goal. In the short term, he expects it will allow him more time at home with his family – particularly his four children, ages 4 to 11. An activities director’s job is year-round and requires frequent evening and weekend work. The dean’s job at Edina is a teaching contract, and Marshall will have some time off in the summer.

Also, after spending most of his career in Burnsville, Marshall said it would be good for him to experience life in another school district.

“I think this job will let me expand my horizons a bit in terms of interacting with students and helping them, just in a different way,” he said. “And personally, it will help me be the kind of husband and father I need to be.”

Marshall has been Burnsville’s activities director since August 2010. He did it first on a one-year interim appointment before receiving the permanent position in 2011.

A 1990 graduate of BHS, where he was an all-conference and all-state swimmer, Marshall returned to his alma mater in 1997 to teach English. Later, he moved to the guidance office and was head guidance counselor before becoming activities director. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English at Northwestern University and did graduate studies at Minnesota State Mankato and Hamline University.

He was also the boys and girls swimming coach at Burnsville for 10 years (1998-2008), leading the girls to a state team championship in 2002 and the boys to a state title in 2007. He was a three-time state coach of the year. Marshall coached several state individual champions, including Kerry Kraemer, who went on to swim at Stanford University and compete in the U.S. Olympic Trials, and Paul Tierney, who competed at the University of Minnesota and now is head coach of the Blaze boys team.

“I’m proud of the opportunities we’ve been able to provide to students in Burnsville the last seven years,” Marshall said. “We’ve dealt with changing demographics. We have more kids on the free and reduced lunch program. But we were able to give them a chance to participate, and that’s something I’ll always cherish.”