By John Raffel
Marion High school principal and athletic director John Russell has announced he is resigning his position effective on Feb. 6.
Russell said he has accepted the position at Mason County Central schools as its middle school principal.
“Danyel Prielipp has been hired as my replacement and I know I am leaving the students of Marion in great hands,” he said.
Russell graduated from Muskegon Oakridge High School, and then received his teaching degree from Morningside College in Sioux City Iowa. He has a Masters in Educational Leadership from Grand Valley State University and a specialist degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Capella University.
“I taught four years at Newaygo East Learning center and then 20 years at Holton,” Russell said. “I coached football, basketball, wrestling and baseball at several levels.
While at Marion I did all athletic schedules, oversaw the change from 11-man to 8-man football. I help establish a new (8-player) football conference, and oversaw the application to the West Michigan D league.
“As game manager, I ensured we had officials, established a leadership team for curriculum and school issues, and established coaching contracts, filled in for secretary, teachers and custodial staff when subs were not available. I did teacher evaluations and PD. This is just some of the duties.”
Highlights for Russell at Marion included watching students go to state meets and place in track and cross country.
“Opening up the court yard to students to use since it had been locked since the belief was students would trash the court yard,” was another highlight, Russell said, “and having our students proving the naysayers wrong. I watched our students build a Ga Ga pit, and bean bag toss boards as well the bean bags themselves. The biggest highlight was having the privilege of not only watching my son graduate from Marion but having the privilege of handing him his diploma.
“So many families in Marion has welcomed my family with open arms and have supported us. I will miss the students and staff.”
At MCC, “I will be the middle school principal which is grades 6, 7, 8 and will not have any athletic duties,” Russell said. “I am excited to be able to focus on being an educational leader. Even though I am leaving Marion sooner than I had thought I would, I am excited for Marion since I believe they have hired a person that will bring out the greatness the students and community of Marion possess.”
Danyel Prielipp enjoyed a major moment in her life when she graduated from Marion High School in 1993.
It’s 24 years later, and now she’s the school’s principal and athletic director.
Marion superintendent Mort Meier confirmed that Prielipp has taken the position over from John Russell, who is leaving for an administrative spot at Mason County Central.
Prielipp graduated from Ferris State University in 1997 with a degree in General Business and English. She studied Educational Leadership at Grand Valley State University and is currently working on certification for College and Career Readiness through MCAN.
“I was hired for a long term substitute position at Marion in December of 1997,” she said. “This led to full time employment the following school year. I’ve been working at Marion for almost 20 years. I’ve held many positions like teacher, adjunct teacher through Baker College, athletic director, athletic scheduler, and I’ve coached competitive and sideline cheer, softball, and track.”
When Russell took a new position and the job became open, Prielipp decided to pursue it.
“I absolutely love this school and community,” she said. “I can’t think of a better place to live. Marion has always been my home. This opportunity is one that I am excited about. There are many challenges in today’s educational setting, but with the staff at Marion High School I know that we can overcome anything. We have a caring and dedicated staff that has the best interest of our students.
“Our teachers and coaches want what’s best for our students. We will rise together, as a school and as a community.”