Marlon Small likes to get to know the students in his building. So the Flower Hill Primary School principal visits classrooms, the cafeteria and gymnasium, strolls the grounds, stops in the library and all the other educational spaces around the sprawling structure that has stood tall since 1954.
When it comes time to congratulate the youngsters enrolled at Flower Hill for their superlative effort and performance, Mr. Small is especially enthusiastic.
Flower Hill’s Stars of the Month for November include Olivia Corcoran, Domenico Leotta, Allison Marroquin, Kayla Joseph, Adiel Abreu Nunez, Kayla Hernandez, Lily /Greif, Courtney Carter, Asani Ingram, Yacira Sanchez Robles, Ashley Palma, Tyler Altman, Brady LaCosta, Henry Palma Molina, Ava McDonald, Eva Richter, Karina Acevedo Ayala, Connor Dunn, Tatiana Quintanilla Yanes, Isabella Rodriquez, Isaac Joseph, Ashley Palacios Ayala and Valentina Maldonado-Martinez.
As far as Mr. Small is concerned there is nothing that tops recognizing a job well done by Flower Hill’s students. So he was delighted to present a certificate to each of the recent award recipients and pose for a photo with them before a large mural in the school cafeteria.
Mr. Small began his career in the district in September 1999 as a fourth grade teacher at Huntington Intermediate School. Three years later he was named dean of students at the school, a position he held for a year before moving with his family to Georgia.
Mr. Small went on to work as a sixth grade social studies teacher in DeKalb County, Georgia and the following year was named assistant principal at Margaret Winn Holt Elementary School in the Gwinnett County Public Schools.
Returning to Long Island in July 2005, Mr. Small was hired as assistant principal of Birchwood Intermediate School in the South Huntington school district. He was named Flower Hill principal in July 2006 and has guided the school with a steady and strong hand ever since.
A 1992 graduate of SUNY College at Old Westbury with a bachelor’s degree in American studies, Mr. Small earned a master’s degree in elementary and special education at Adelphi University in 1999. He later obtained a professional diploma and state administrative certification at Dowling College in 2002.
Prior to coming to the district, Mr. Small was a case worker at Berkshire Farm Center and Services for Youth in Melville, where he assessed and matched foster children with appropriate homes, completed assessments of youth and family and developed goals and objectives for treatment and provided group, family and individual support to foster children and families.