Mr. Marko grew up in Brewer, Maine, a fantastic community 40 minutes inland of Acadia National park and the Atlantic Ocean — it is across the river from Bangor, Maine, and roughly two hours north of Portland. He graduated from Brewer High school in 2006, and continued to live in Maine while getting Bachelors in Criminal Justice from the University of Maine. In 2011-12 Mr. Marko interned on the Maine Marriage Equality campaign and helped pass marriage equality in Maine at the ballot box in November 2012. He spent the next five years traveling the country working on Progressive Issue oriented campaigns, with a primary focus on LGTBQ equality. Some highlights were being on the team to pass marriage equality in Rhode Island, and being on the team to stop a harmful anti-LGBTQ constitutional amendment in Indiana. Mr. Marko’s last major campaign role was being the Deputy National Operations Director of Bernie 2016. He worked in New Hampshire, South Carolina, Illinois, Wisconsin and Vermont during his time with Bernie 2016.
Why did you choose the Alma team?
It was a chance to work with a group of passionate educators who are committed to creating better opportunities in the New Bedford area for young people. I thrive on being surrounded by inspirational coworkers, so Alma del Mar is a great fit. I found out about this opportunity from a dear friend, and one of the original founders of the School, Meredith Segal, who I met in the campaign world.
What do you hope to contribute to Alma?
In my role, I hope to make the lives of our wonderful teachers easier, by providing service and creating more efficient systems. When our teachers can best perform their jobs is when our scholars will reach their highest potential.
What is your top goal during your first year with Alma?
Helping with the transition of Alma del Mar becoming a full K-8 for the first time!
What teacher made a difference in your life — how?
I had a fantastic 7th grade History teacher named Mr. Hamill, who really pushed us in creative ways to learn and enjoy history. I give him credit for making me explore certain topics which helped shape my world views as an adult.
Why did you become involved in education?
I was looking for a way to still be active in helping out communities, and impacting the greater good, while taking a hiatus from direct political action work. My good friend Meredith Segal thought it would be a perfect fit for what I was looking for at this stage in my life. I have learned to blindly trust Meredith.
Where did you go to college? What did you like about your college?
I went to the University of Maine, an attended classes at multiple campuses. I am also a deferred graduate student working on a Master’s in Public Policy from the Muskie School which is part of the University of Maine system. I think the University of Maine, knowing that they have students from all over Maine who wish to pursue higher education, while not all living near a dense city, has done a great job at integrating different campuses and programs so that Mainers have a quality education that is accessible and flexible.
What is your favorite food?
It is hard to narrow down a favorite food, but lately I would say that I could eat sushi 7 days a week!
What is your favorite book?
Choosing a favorite book is extremely difficult, three books I have read in the last year that have had a huge impact are Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl, The Art of Learning by Joshua Waitzkin, and Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates.