Messenger photo by Kristy Zurbrick
N. Marvin Dalton (back), the new principal at Miami View School in South Charleston, poses with fifth-graders Eli Tuttle, Caleb Weller, Miranda Bobst, Taegen Hartman and Davie Stucky. Dalton likes to be visible to students, staff and parents, rather than holed up in his office. He visits classrooms, attends sporting events and has an open-door policy.
Forty years of doing anything might get old for some people. Not for N. Marvin Dalton. He has been an educator for 40 years and sees himself in the profession for another eight to 10.
“Right now, I’m still loving what I do,” said Dalton, the new principal at Miami View School in the Southeastern Local School District.
Dalton most recently worked as director of administrative support for Greenville City Schools near the Ohio/Indiana line. When that position was cut for financial reasons, he went looking for the next challenge.
Southeastern’s superintendent informed Dalton of the opening at Southeastern’s pre-K through eighth-grade building. The two had worked together in Greenville. Dalton said he couldn’t be happier with his new job.
“We’ve had a fantastic start to the school year. This is probably the smoothest start in my 29 years as an administrator,” he said, giving credit to the students, staff and parents.
One of Dalton’s goals is to continue to raise Miami View’s rankings on the state report card. He plans to use two staff development days to assess student achievement, then develop ideas through grade level, cross-grade level and department meetings. The elementary grades are rated “excellent,” and the middle school grades are rated “effective.”
He also wants a happy staff.
“When the staff is happy, then the kids will respond and be happy and be willing to learn,” he said.
Describing himself as an “upbeat and enthusiastic” person, Dalton hopes to not only put his administrative skills to work for the district, but also his musical talents.
He majored in voice and organ as an undergrad, has been a church organist for 47 years, and is a church choir director.
“I hope to help out with the high school musicals in the spring,” Dalton said. “We also hope to do something in the winter here at Miami View; we’re trying to figure out how we can pull together a Christmas program.”
Miami View does not have a vocal music teacher, but Dalton said he would like to organize a vocal group for interested students at the junior high level. Other staff members may be willing to lead similar groups in the lower levels, he said.
Dalton’s desire to be out of his office and in the action includes not only talking to students and visiting classrooms, but also attending sporting and academic events as often as possible.
“I’m very interested in being part of the community and that’s why I chose not to commute (every day),” said Dalton, who lives in South Charleston during the week and goes home to his family in Greenville on the weekends.
Dalton and his wife, Pat, a retired registered nurse, have three children. Their youngest, Chelsea, is a senior in high school in Greenville. Their son, Shane, lives in Lakeland, Fla., and their other daughter, Leslie, is an R.N. at Reed Hospital in Greenville.
“Down the road, we would like to move here (to South Charleston),” Dalton said.