By ANDREW NELSON, Staff Writer | Published April 14, 2016
ROSWELL—A veteran administrator of Blessed Trinity High School is returning as its new principal.
Brian Marks, who spent 13 years serving as assistant principal at the Roswell high school, begins in the new position July 1.
He succeeds Frank Moore, the only principal the school community has known since its doors opened 16 years ago. Marks began in Blessed Trinity’s second year and remained there until 2014.
For the last two years, Marks led the newest independent Catholic high school in the Atlanta Archdiocese, Notre Dame Academy in Duluth, as it built its facilities and welcomed its first freshman class.
“It always did feel like a family,” he said about returning to the Blessed Trinity campus he’s so familiar with from the inside of the classrooms to the basketball court where he was head coach. He was also director of admissions there.
Even as the student body grew, Marks said he always sensed the tight-knit feeling among the community wasn’t by accident. He said families, students and faculty have never taken the school for granted, and all feel invested in making the campus be its best. He said even now graduates love to return to the school and see how it has grown.
Moore, who is retiring, said Marks returns with a deep well of institutional knowledge, and he will quickly come up to speed with changes on campus, such as its adaptation as a Chromebook school in 2015.
“Brian will take the school to a higher level because he will have ideas that I would never have thought of,” Moore said.
“I’m filling big shoes”
Marks has worked in education for 20 years, 15 of them in a Catholic setting.
“I love that we start and end the day in prayer. It’s nice to be with people who are grounded in their religion,” he said.
Marks, who is 45, and his family belong to St. Benedict Church, in Johns Creek.
A native of New York, Marks received his bachelor’s degree in economics with a minor in English from Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut. He earned his master’s degree in educational administration from the University at Albany, State University of New York.
Marks said he is looking forward to leaning on Moore’s knowledge when the new academic year begins. “I’m filling big shoes,” he said.
“Totally dedicated to Catholic education, Brian was the unanimous choice for the interview committee,” said archdiocesan school Superintendent Diane Starkovich in her announcement.
Blessed Trinity High School opened in 2000 with freshmen and sophomore classes. It now has nearly 1,000 students in grades 9-12 and was named a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence in 2014.
About Notre Dame Academy, Marks said the professional opportunities there shaped him as he returns to Roswell.
He said the head of school, Debra Orr, presented him with a tremendous opportunity to fulfill what he considers a vital mission to enlarge the opportunity for more students in this part of the state to attend a Catholic school.
“The future is extremely bright here. It’s tough to leave,” he said. “We’re heading in the right direction.”
Notre Dame Academy is an independent school sponsored by the Marist religious community and an International Baccalaureate World School. It was the first Catholic elementary school in the country to receive that designation. With the opening of the high school in 2015, it now serves prekindergarten through ninth grade and will add 10th grade as the inaugural freshman class progresses. The second high school class reports in the fall with predicted larger enrollment than the first year’s 31 students.
Orr said Marks will be missed. As the founding high school principal, his leadership helped establish a solid foundation for the school’s growth, she said.
John Henry Spann, who has been teaching theology, has been hired as Notre Dame Academy’s Upper School new principal. He starts in that role on July 1. Spann and Marks will collaborate during the next several weeks for a smooth transition.
Spann will remain as a theology teacher. Spann earned a master’s degree in education, specializing in independent and charter school leadership, from Mercer University’s Tift College of Education and is completing his master’s degree in theology this spring at Holy Spirit College in Atlanta.