DeMarcus Green, Principal of Kilpatrick Elementary School, Texarkana Arkansas School District, recalls the moment the world stopped spinning, on 9/11, when the planes struck the Twin Towers in New York City. As a member of the Army National Guard’s 153rd Infantry Brigade in Magnolia, Arkansas, it didn’t take long before he was deployed with his fellow soldiers. Green’s military training enabled him to be the best teacher, and eventual Principal, that he can be.
What began as a young man’s desire to make some extra money while in college, soon became a significant life event. When Green attended Southern Arkansas University to study education, the idea of heading to war was beyond the distance.
“The way that I viewed my enlistment soon changed forever while attending school,” recalls Green.
Green was conversing with friends outside of his classroom in Wilson Hall on SAU and that’s when one student informed the group of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and Twin Towers.
“ In awe, I gathered my things to enter into my 9:00am English class, and shortly after, another classmate said the United States was under attack.”
Green’s class time became consumed with watching the news and discussion of what was occuring inside and out of the country. They were unsure of how their lives were going to forever change, but they knew a change was made.
Phone calls began to pour in from friends, family, and soldiers inquiring about the imminent deployment. Green had only enlisted less than a year-and-a-half before he was given orders of deployment. Despite the constant anticipation, Green wasn’t deployed until after October 2013, when he was sent to Iraq.
“We were briefed on the mission and notified that we would be living in Baghdad, Iraq for up to 18 months. We also received extensive training on the Iraqi culture, and more importantly, how to respond tacitly to adverse situations while in the foreign country.”
Post training, Green and his fellow soldiers were transported to Kuwait, where thy would wait 2 weeks before driving into Iraq and entering war zone. During his time in Iraq, Green’s character was built up, learning to be selfless and work for the greater good. These are important mantras that Green has carried over into his professional life.
The concept of teamwork, strategic planning, and dire work ethic are a few of ideals that have benefited me greatly. However, the most beneficial and important trait that I attribute to my military experience in my role as a principal is a keen awareness of safety.”
Green believes characteristics like structure and self discipline are also values that the military helped build that he now is in charge of helping his little scholars learn. Green is productive, efficient, and a critical thinker, ensuring the success of the staff, students, and school.
At Kilpatrick Elementary, Green works in a building with an estimated 600 people and his primary role is to ensure student safety. Green and his fellow instructors encourage students to consider themselves superheros, giving them positive affirmation while also giving a subtle reminder to be safe and kind.
Outside of the leadership skills and safety techniques Green learned and demonstrates from the military, Kilpatrick Elementary School recently implemented systems to maximize the safety of their student and staff.
“Some procedures that we currently have in place are classroom and school entrance doors are now locked at all times, visitors must identify themselves using a security intercom system prior to entering the school building, visitors are not allowed to proceed beyond a designated area without a school official escorting them, and identification must be given in order to check out a student.”
Green reflected on the valuable moments and rewarding parts of being a Principal and emphasized that making a difference within the lives of the youth is what really matters to him. His responsibilities extend to teacher, counselor, friend, role model and sometimes teammate, and really any role that ensures he is leaving a positive impact on a student’s life.
“As an educator if we can influence students to thinking independently and critically, we empower them to blaze their own path. My goal for my scholars is to empower them to do what they believe in and equip them with the tools to make this happen. “
Green’s leadership garners the attention from the community, earning awards like
- 2017 Magnet Schools of America Regional Principal of the Year
- 2017 Southern Arkansas University Educational Hall of Fame inductee
- 2018 Graduate of Leadership Texarkana
- 2018 Four States Living Magazine- The Fabulous 40 and Under recipient
- 2013-2018 Principal of Kilpatrick Elementary School
- 2012-2013 Assistant Principal of North Heights Junior High School
- 2009-2010 Campus Teacher of the Year
- 2016-2018 Texas A&M- Texarkana Doctoral Candidate
Most recently, Green has supported the Kilpatrick 5k, “Hunger’s No Game,” to combat hunger in Texarkana. Registrations for the event each year is a donation of 10 non-perishable canned food items to be donated to a local food bank in Texarkana.