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New Marshall School leader brings global experience to the table

Jamie Steckart grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin, finished his undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and completed his master’s degree at the University of Minnesota.

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Jamie Steckart, the new head of schools at Marshall School, poses in the school Tuesday, July 6, 2021. (Steve Kuchera / skuchera@duluthnews.com)

Marshall School’s new head of school Jamie Steckart started July 1 and is working on getting to know the students, staff and parents.

Steckart had been on sabbatical for the past year from his previous job as head of school for THINK Global School, a traveling high school for students in grades 10 through 12. Steckart said his home base is on the South Shore of Lake Superior in Cornucopia, Wisconsin, so when the position in Duluth was posted he jumped at the chance to apply.

Steckart said he loves the Midwest, and Marshall having international students was just an added bonus he’s familiar with.

“I love the Midwestern values, Lake Superior and the Great Lakes,” he said. “I grew up on Lake Michigan and there are just not a lot of jobs in the region for someone like me, so when this position came available, I thought it was the perfect fit.”

Steckart grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin, did his undergraduate degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and completed his master’s degree at the University of Minnesota. He taught in a variety of capacities in the Twin Cities for 20 years before he went abroad to work with THINK Global School.

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Steckart said he has two high school students in the family who will finish their education at Marshall after spending nine years abroad.

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Jamie Steckart, head of schools at Marshall School, on Tuesday, July 6, 2021. (Steve Kuchera / skuchera@duluthnews.com)

“They're really excited to get to know some of the international students,” Steckart said.

Steckart said as of right now his only goal is to listen to people and use what he has learned to help the school renew its strategic plan this year.

“I’m not the kind of leader who tells people this is the way it is,” he said. “I’m more of a collaborative leader, and so that takes time to really get to know people in genuine ways.”

After spending nine years abroad, Steckart said he feels he can bring a global perspective to the conversations with students, parents, staff and community members.

“I’ve been to so many different places in the world and for our students, for any student, in the United States that kind of global competency is definitely going to be needed,” Steckart said. “When kids graduate nowadays, they’re going to have to really understand the global issues that affect them locally.”

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Steckart said the region is lucky to have Lake Superior and the rest of the Great Lakes.

“We live in the world’s largest freshwater supply system,” he said. “I’ve been across the globe where water is very hard to come by … so to understand that this resource that we have in the Upper Midwest is so important to the health and prosperity of the United States is needed.”

The one thing Steckart wants students to know about him is that he believes that their opinions, desires and goals truly matter.

“I don’t pay lip service to student voice and choice,” he said. “So that’s a key educational philosophy for me. It’s really important for kids to be architects of their own education.”

Steckart isn’t quite settled in Duluth yet because, as he put it, “the housing market is really crazy here.”

But in the meantime he said he’s excited to be in his position and is ready to learn as much as possible.

This story was edited at 5:45 p.m. on July 7, 2021 to correct Jamie Steckart's title. It was originally posted at 11:40 a.m.

Adelle Whitefoot is a former reporter for the Duluth News Tribune.
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