West Fresno families were introduced to a newly hired administrative team this school year, led by Principal Prince Marshall and Deputy Principal, Dr. Felipe Mercado.
Marshall, a former WUHS alum, comes to WUSD with 16 years of educational leadership experience. Most recently, Marshall served as a Vice Principal at Madera High South for 4 years before being named Principal of Desmond Middle School in Madera where he worked for the past 3 years. “I am excited to serve Washington Unified, because I consider this place my home. It has always been a thought in the back of my mind that I could one day come back and serve my community in some capacity,” states Marshall.
One of the strengths Marshall brings to his role is the breadth of experience he has had with diverse communities throughout the Central Valley. Marshall’s career in education began as a volunteer coach at Orange Center Elementary School. He later served there as a janitor, kitchen assistant, and transportation assistant for students with special needs. He then transitioned to Mendota Unified after being hired as an After-School Program Coordinator and Teen Pregnancy Prevention Outreach lead. Marshall then earned his teaching credential and taught at both the elementary and high school levels before joining the Bridges to Leadership Program for administrators through the Madera County Office of Education.
“My goal for WFEC is to build community between WFES/WFMS and our surrounding neighborhoods, states Marshall, “What is best for students is always at the forefront of what we do day-to-day, so student success is our focus, whether it be academically, behavioral and social emotional.”
Marshall is joined by Dr. Felipe Mercado. Dr. Mercado has held roles as a social work practitioner, cultural broker, counselor, consultant, college professor, and vice principal. He has presented at the Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) Conference, Central Valley Educational Leadership Institute (CVELI), Teaching Fellows of America Organization, California Association of Supervisors of Child Welfare and Attendance (CASCWA) and the Center for Leadership Equity and Research (CLEAR) to support leaders and educators in reaching new plateaus of equity and understanding. “My goal is to ensure that all children and staff are healthy, happy and safe, so they can be the best they can be,” states Mercado. “Most importantly, an excellent education is not possible without the great collaboration of students, parents, and staff. Over the past few weeks, I have had the privilege of getting to know some of the amazing students, parents, and staff within our community, while also learning about the rich history of the community. One of the greatest takeaways from these conversations has been the immense enthusiasm and pride for the school and community. It is through that same enthusiasm and pride that I look forward to becoming an integral part of the community with my own family and working with each stakeholder to build a better tomorrow and future!”
Washington Unified looks forward to a wonderful year at the West Fresno Educational Center.