The First Ten Years • 1998-2008 • By Rick Novak
Prior to 1998, all middle school aged students living in Scripps Ranch attended Wangenheim Middle School in Mira Mesa. Through collaboration between the district and the area stakeholders, a new middle school had finally been planned for the Scripps Ranch community which would be placed on an elementary school size piece of property. A site had been selected on Cypress Canyon Road at what is now EB Scripps Elementary School.
We had the rare opportunity of creating a learning environment from the ground up. We had a vision of a school that would be an educational beacon in the community, one that would be reflective of the specific needs of students in Scripps Ranch. From the very beginning there was tremendous community involvement which has been a characteristic of the school ever since.
Throughout the early months of 1998, the teachers and staff were selected, the programs were designed, the curriculum was developed, books were selected, the furniture and supplies were purchased, and our goal to provide a learning environment that would provide all the courses, programs, clubs and activities that students would need in order to enjoy a first rate educational experience was set.
Our mission was to provide a learning environment that enabled each student to reach his/her highest potential in a safe atmosphere and be prepared for high school and beyond.
Because space and funds were limited when we opened in September of 1998, we converted regular classrooms into art and band rooms and there was no multi-purpose room. We held large events in the central quad. The school was built for 700 students and we had close to 800 students enroll that year.
We were overcrowded from the beginning and ultimately teachers had to share classrooms. The community decided that it would be prudent if we were to use the money set aside to build a new elementary school and put it towards the building of a right-sized middle school and convert the existing Marshall Middle to EB Scripps Elementary.
In 2004 we began the process of finding a site and designing a new middle school that could accommodate 1600 students. It would include art rooms, band and chorus rooms, a theater and a multipurpose room. We moved in to our new home on Avenue of Nations during the summer of 2007 and the new Marshall Middle School opened for students in September of 2007.
Thurgood Marshall Middle has always benefited from the dedication and commitment of its teachers, staff and students, and the tremendous support from parents and the community. As a result, Marshall achieved status as the number one performing middle school in San Diego Unified based on state achievement tests. Thurgood Marshall has been among the top performing middle schools in San Diego County ever since and truly has become an educational beacon in the community.
The Second Ten Years • 2008-2018 • By Michelle Irwin
Thurgood Marshall Middle School has a strong foundation built upon excellence in academics and extra-curricular opportunities. Currently, Thurgood Marshall Middle School is the largest middle school in SDUSD with over 1,500 students. Our students have many talents and are motivated to excel and are dedicated to their education.
In the last several years, our instructional focus has been to meet the needs of our 21st century learners. We believe we must provide opportunities for our students to be critical thinkers, problem solvers and communicators. We believe our students need opportunities to analyze and synthesize information to solve problems with a new perspective. We support our students to develop advocacy and leadership skills. These opportunities are embedded within our curriculum as we teach the content area standards.
As a staff, we also must know our students. We need to understand their strengths and know how to challenge them. We believe in each of our students, their abilities and we hold our expectations high. We prepare our students for a world that we have not yet experienced and we are guided by the three pillars from our mission statement:
- Provide rigorous coursework
- With relevant topics
- While developing positive relationships
- RIGOR – RELEVANCE – RELATIONSHIPS
By being guided by these pillars, we know we will create thoughtful productive citizens who will inherit our global society with the needed skills and understanding that will support our community.
It is a true honor to serve the students in our learning community and continue to be the educational beacon in the community.