Dr. Douglas Marvin, principal of Quest High School in Burnet, tells anyone he has the best job in the world.
“The most rewarding thing is the kids we get to help every single day,” he said. “I’m in every classroom every single day, and that’s something you can’t really do in a bigger school.”
Marvin paused then clarified that he was in the rooms when class was in session, before COVID-19 closed campuses and pushed everyone to at-home learning.
But with a campus of 30-80 students, depending on the year, the principal is able to build strong relationships with the youths and staff.
His personal dedication to the campus, students, staff, and community are why Douglas landed a spot in the Raise Your Hand Texas leadership program. He was one of 62 school leaders in Texas chosen for a spot. The program helps principals and teachers better prepare students for the future.
Marvin will celebrate his seventh graduating Quest class on June 4 during commencement. Quest is a non-traditional campus in the Burnet Consolidated Independent School District but still follows state requirements.
“What we call it is a school of choice,” Marvin said. “Every kid who comes here, it’s because they chose to come here.”
Quest allows students who have fallen behind their classwork in the traditional setting catch up and gives at-risk youth a better chance of graduating.
But Marvin said many of the students choose Quest because it’s just a better fit for them and their goals.
“It’s self-paced, and, for some kids, that’s what they want,” he said. “They can go as fast as they want.”
Every day, Marvin said, he witnesses students changing their lives for the better.
“I have the best job in the district,” he added.
He also knows there’s always something more to learn. One of the things Marvin stresses to his students is always looking for ways to grow and improve.
“The most important thing I tell kids is if you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse,” he said.
Raise Your Hand Texas gives Marvin a chance to continue to improve his education and school leadership skills. Getting in is a competitive process with several hundred applicants vying for spots. Along with BCISD Superintendent Keith McBurnett’s recommendation, Marvin submitted essays and other references.
During the program this summer, Marvin will attend virtual workshops. Throughout the year, he will meet with other education professionals selected for the program to share ideas and thoughts.
“It’s like a huge think tank of the best of the best,” Marvin said.
Next summer, he will attend Harvard University’s Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Principals’ Center.
“I want to be the best educator and principal I can be,” Marvin added. “And I want to show the kids that, no matter where you are in your life, you should always keep learning and working to get better.