Dr. Marshall C. Darnell was born November 15, 1937 in Harrodsburg, Kentucky, a small town at the time of only five-thousand people. He married Patsy Pace Darnell August 1, 1964, and they have two children. He started his college career at Campbellsville College in 1956 and received his A.A. Degree in 1958. In 1960, he received his B. A. Degree in Social Science/English from Eastern Kentucky State College and his Masters Degree in Guidance and Counseling in 1964. In 1977, he earned a Doctorate in Education Administration from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Dr. Darnell furnished excellent leadership for his staff and the students that he loved. He worked diligently to provide an educational setting where students could grow, learn, progress, and achieve their greatest abilities and potentials. He served as an excellent teacher, principal, and vocational administrator.
He began his educational career in 1961 as a substitute teacher and ended his educational career as the Assistant Superintendent for Management and Operations in 1990. He held many positions during the interim years, which include, but are not limited to: counselor, junior high assistant principal, principal, and sixteen years in central administration in various positions. Marshall Darnell was successful as a school administrator because of his concern for the students, faculty, and his personal involvement in all aspects of the school program. He secured funds needed to begin new and to maintain existing vocational programs. As a competent educator, he was of sound character and had a wholesome personality along with his excellent conceptual knowledge of his specialization.
Many advances were made in the district’s curriculum during his time as Director of Secondary Curriculum. His goal was to build the finest curriculum possible for the students of Clark County. Dr. Darnell’s notability would be his fifteen years as leader of the Leadership Training Program that all prospective administrators had to successfully complete. He was also known for his writing skill and was responsible for writing many school district documents.
He was actively involved in his church, United Way, and the Boy Scouts of America. He was an active member of the Southwest Rotary Club where he served in every elective office including president in 1992-93. Darnell Marshall had served on numerous District Rotary committees and was chosen to lead the Group Study Exchange to the Philippines in 1989.
All who know him, as an excellent citizen and leader in his community, considered Dr. Darnell a man of sterling character and a person of great integrity. He had provided strong direction and leadership, not only in our public schools, but in the district as well.
Asked why a school was named after him, Dr. Darnell responded: “People would like to have some historic event, some monumental effort that I made to help the district, so the school could be named for me. Something of a single event nature. Well, I don’t think that happened. It’s going to work every day – doing the very best I could. And that mosaic told the picture. And the picture obviously had enough worth to have a school named for me.”
Marshall Darnell passed away in 2015. His involvement in the educational development of the Clark County School District benefited the district as well as its students and their parents.