Who We Are

Mission and Core Values

The Mission of Marshall School...

The mission of Marshall School is to educate students to become global citizens who demonstrate strong academic habits, respect, compassion, integrity, self-discipline, and intellectual curiosity.

Becoming Global Citizens

Global citizens think critically, creatively, and compassionately about complex local and global issues. They understand what it means to be a member of an interconnected and rapidly-changing global community. They lead when necessary, adapt when appropriate, and employ a broad range of technological and communication skills to seek understanding and find solutions to real problems.

Marshall students emerge as global citizens with an ethic of service nurtured by their academic study of history, literature, arts, religion, languages, science, and the environment; meaningful relationships with peers and faculty from around the world; and rich extracurricular experiences, which foster humility, teamwork, and leadership.

Marshall students leave with the knowledge, skills, experiences, and independence to meet the challenges of the 21st century, wherever life takes them.

Core Values

Strong academic habits
Marshall is dedicated to teaching academic habits which will sustain lifelong learning in students. Learning how to learn -- whether it be taking notes, studying, or writing -- prepares students for success in college and in life. Our teachers nurture confident and critical thinkers who have mastered academic skills and competencies across a variety of disciplines.

Marshall offers a safe and inclusive school community where individuals are expected to respect themselves, each other, and their environment. Through personal relationships with diverse groups and individuals, students learn to understand themselves and others and work effectively as part of a team.

Marshall believes that the development of compassion –- and the desire to make a positive difference in the lives of others -- is essential to being a productive member of a community. Through the study of multiple viewpoints and the act of service, students develop empathy for those around them.

Marshall encourages all members of its community to hold themselves to the highest code of conduct. Led by a commitment to the common good, we strive to do what is right -- even when nobody is looking.

Hard work and self-discipline are essential components for success. Marshall challenges students to develop a strong work ethic and the internal motivation to persevere through times of challenge.

Intellectual curiosity
Marshall encourages students’ natural inquisitiveness and wonder about the world. Asking questions and taking risks is as important as searching for the right answer. With the desire and courage to move confidently into the future, students can adapt to an ever-changing future in pursuit of their dreams.

Statement of Community

Statement of Community

The Marshall School community accepts responsibility for the Safety, Inclusion & well-being of all members.

We nurture and protect an environment that is affirming and empowering of individual voices, life experiences and perspectives.

We commit to learning and growing through our daily actions and interactions.

We seek always to value, respect and uplift those around us.


Marshall School is the Twin Ports flagship independent school and has served the Duluth area for more than a century. Founded in 1904 as Cathedral Senior High School, Marshall has adapted with Duluth as the educational needs of the community changed. The foundation of providing the highest-quality, college-preparatory educational experience to students in the area has always remained a part of the school's history.

Now a member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) and the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS), Marshall serves students in grades 4-12 with personalized attention, small class sizes, and advanced academic experiences.

Originally located in downtown Duluth on the corner of 4th Street and 2nd Avenue, the school began as a Catholic high school. In the early 1960s, the school moved to its current location in Duluth on Rice Lake Road. It became an all-faith institution in the early 1970s, which led to a name change to Marshall School in 1987.

Marshall School expanded to include grades 7 and 8 in the early 1990s. Most recently, Marshall has added grades 4, 5, and 6 in the past two decades.

Along with always being known as the Hilltoppers, Marshall's unique history has consistently upheld the values of exhibiting strong academic habits, integrity, respect, and compassion.

Board of Trustees

2019-20 Trustees

Dean Fox, President
Dave Gunnarson, Vice President
Nels Ojard '95, Secretary
David Pollard '92, Treasurer

Stephanie Ball '81
Michelle Buria '89
Erin Dungan '94
Marty Espe
Doug Lewis
Lai La Lunde
Joan McNamara '76
Julie Pierce
Phil Rolle
Regina Seabrook '92
Anthony Yung
Kevin Breen, Ex Officio

Strategic Plan

The Strategic Plan was completed in the spring of 2015 after an intensive year-long process to explore how Marshall could most effectively accomplish its mission over the next 3-5 years. Led by an outside consultant with extensive independent school experience and working closely with the Board of Trustees, the Strategic Planning Steering Committee gathered information from all constituencies of the school to establish the areas of school life requiring the greatest focus and then set to work identifying the specific objectives necessary for progress in each. The resulting document captures the most important work of the school's faculty, administration and staff that will guide all major decisions and shape school initiatives between 2016 and 2020.


  • Respect, integrity and compassion guide us in everything we do.
  • Self-discipline enables us to take responsibility for ourselves and our community, working at becoming better every day.
  • The combination of strong academic habits with intellectual curiosity promotes personal growth and academic success.

Goal 1: Provide all students with an ambitious intellectual experience embedded within an ethic of responsibility and character.

  1. Create a culture that engages students in exploration and inquiry;
  1. Encourage intellectual risk-taking and experimentation including meaningful assessment practices;
  2. Articulate high expectations for self-directed learning, while providing guidance and support;
  3. Broaden and deepen curricular choices;
  4. Incorporate our expectations for living our values—strong academic habits, respect, compassion, integrity, self-discipline, and intellectual curiosity—into the entire student experience.

Goal 2: Fund the program we aspire to offer.

  1. Provide a vibrant, engaging and rewarding workplace to attract and retain effective teachers, coaches and staff;
  2. Diversify revenue through increased philanthropic and auxiliary activities to support programmatic imperatives, sustain financial aid, and plan for exingencies.
  3. Invest in facilities to support the mission and goals.

Goal 3: Engage Marshall with the local, regional, and alumni community in more meaningful and visible ways.

  1. Enhance opportunities for students to work, learn, and serve in the community;
  2. Create new bridges between Marshall and the community by leveraging parent, faculty, staff, and alumni connections.

Adopted by Marshall Board of Trustees

May 21, 2015