Coffman Announces Retirement

by Elizabeth Pitts-Hibbard

After a 35-year career in public school teaching and administration, Marlow Public Schools Superintendent announced on Monday that the 2021-2022 school year will be his last at the helm.

In an interview earlier this week, Coffman was quick to point out that his decision is due to family needs, not pressure from the community.

“There’s nothing in a negative connotation,” Coffman said. “My mother is not doing well and we’re preparing to move her to an assisted living facility. I also have a sister who has special needs and has spent her life with my mother in her home and I need to be available to her.”

Coffman said that he has no intention to leave the area and will continue to support Marlow Public Schools as well as his successor.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time working with Marlow Public Schools,” Coffman said. “I’m going to live here because I have family here and this is where I want to be. This is where I’m retiring and this is where I want to be for the rest of my life.”

Coffman said that he would be available to whoever takes the office next, and that he hoped a new superintendent would be hired this spring. He added that the new superintendent should have the full support of the faculty and community.

“Marlow is blessed to have great people, from the administration to the teachers to all of the support personnel,” Coffman said. “We’re surrounded by a great community.

“We’re in an excellent financial position, including an historic bond issue that just passed. Whoever takes my place will be in an excellent spot to continue Marlow’s success.”

Coffman believes that the success of Marlow Public Schools hinges on the administration’s focus on the students.

“The key to the school business is to take yourself out of the picture and put kids Number One,” Coffman said. “I think Marlow has done that for a long time.

“The kids are the coolest part of this job,” Coffman added. “That’s what I’m going to miss the most…I’ve had the opportunity to be around great kids for 35 years. I hope I can say that I’ve been a part of the success that a lot of those kids have had.”

Assistant Superintendent Brenda Parker-Tillian said that Coffman’s legacy is his emphasis on inclusion.

“[Coffman] doesn’t care about your background, your color, your economic status,” Tillian said. “He’s about inclusion. Everyone gets a chance, and everyone gets to participate…it’s a culture he’s developed here at Marlow.”

Coffman came to Marlow Public Schools in 2002; his last day will be June 30.