2021 Personnel/HR Administrator of the Year David Marshall.
Riverside USD Resolution Officer David Marshall uses his excellent listening and problem-solving skills to facilitate discussions between parents and site administrators in the district.
Marshall solves problems
September 6, 2021
ACSA Administrators of the Year graphic.
Name: David Marshall Award: Personnel/Human Resources Administrator of the Year Title: Resolution Officer, Riverside USD ACSA highlights: Member since 1999; Riverside Association of School Managers, VP of membership (two years).
David Marshall has a title you don’t see too often in the world of K-12 education: Resolution Officer.
By successfully facilitating discussions between parents and site administration, Marshall plays an important role in supporting the collective school culture in Riverside USD.
His work increases the capacity of district principals by helping them reach productive and positive resolutions to situations that may otherwise require mediation. Marshall also provides a model for ethical decision-making for administrators, including giving them constructive suggestions and direct guidance.
Known for being a hands-on problem solver and excellent listener, Marshall has developed trust between stakeholders, which ultimately has led to positive student outcomes across his district.
“Mr. Marshall can hear a parent or community member’s complaint about grading practices or discipline and ask the clarifying questions that help identify the crux of the issue,” said Principal Shani Dahl in her letter of support for Marshall. “He embraces ‘outside-the-box’ thinking that contributes to innovative decision-making and an atmosphere of collaboration that leads to tangible solutions so that our students, parents and staff work together as effectively as possible.”
What’s your favorite quote on leadership? “You can only understand people if you feel them in yourself ...” — John Steinbeck
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
“It isn’t about being right. Being right doesn’t fix the problem. Even if you are right, now go fix the problem.”
What’s your best strategy for work/life balance? Years ago, I learned to “keep the main thing the main thing.” I strive for that all of the time, both at work and at home. I’m often not successful, but it is the goal. I am thankful that God pushed me so hard into a position in which I can help others, and hopefully have a positive impact, however indirectly, on kids’ lives.
What are some life hacks that you would recommend for a new administrator? Go towards the danger! It’s OK to admit you don’t know. Lead with empathy. Validate their feelings. You are not admitting that you did something wrong, or even that the parent is right, but acknowledge and allow that the parent feels that way because they care about their child.
What would people be surprised to learn about you? I have the best job in the world. Some are surprised at how much I enjoy what I do. I’m able to take emotionally charged situations, and hopefully get all parties to be open to each other’s perspective and solutions.
What made you want to become a school administrator? I wanted to impact more kids than I was able to in the classroom, and I wanted to stretch myself, professionally.
What is your proudest accomplishment? Creating this office. I am the first person in my role for my district. My original title was “Complaint Officer,” which is pretty accurate. I am proud that I developed a platform for all constituents to communicate their concerns and receive help. It’s evolved into a system in which our administrators feel supported, and our stakeholders are heard.
How has ACSA supported you in your career/current position? I’ve really enjoyed the networking, collaborating and just socializing with other admins at our local charter, RASM, events, as well as in Region 19. Years ago, I attended the New & Aspiring Principals Institute at UCLA and I’ve attended both the Personnel Administrators Academy, which was great, and the Equity Academy, which was truly outstanding.
What has the impact of the COVID-19 worldwide health crisis taught you? Our students, families, staff and administrators have experienced such trauma. It is even more important that all administrators lead with compassion as they step into situations. Now more than ever, we need to show grace.
2021 Personnel/HR Administrator of the Year David Marshall.
2021 Personnel/HR Administrator of the Year David Marshall.
Contact Us
© 2021 Association of California School Administrators