On Sunday, Darry Marshall announced he has taken a job out of state and will be resigning from his positions on Atoka's board of mayor and aldermen and the school board.
A former football coach and Munford High School principal, Marshall will be on the Liberty University coaching stuff under the direction of Hugh Freeze, the nephew of Atoka mayor Daryl Walker. The university is located in Lynchburg, Va.
"I am sorry that I will not complete my terms serving the great people of Atoka and children of Tipton County Schools," he said in a Facebook post. "After several weeks of prayer and seeking God’s plan, it became clear that God was leading me back into coaching. I accepted the offer this week."
He was first elected alderman in Atoka in November 2016 and last August was elected to the school board. He has also served on Atoka's planning commissioner.
Marshall's vacancy means two boards will need to appoint new members to finish the terms. His alderman term was set to end in 2020 and the school board term in 2022.
Neither body has met since his resignation – they do not meet again until the second week of March – so the processes through which he will be replaced have not yet been announced. Last year in Atoka, persons wishing to be considered submitted letters to town hall and were reviewed before nominations were made.
Marshall is advocating for former superintendent Dr. Tim Fite, who retired in 2011, to replace him on the school board.
"Dr. Tim Fite has always been an invaluable asset to the children of Tipton County," he said. "While Dr. Fite was director of schools, our school system was rated as one of the top systems in the state year in and year out. Everyone that worked for Dr. Fite watched him demonstrate the principle of measuring everything in 'child benefit.' He always believed that all the children in Tipton County should be given an equable opportunity to learn and develop their full potential."
Since his retirement, Fite has been president of the consultant firm Southern Education Strategies and is an affiliate research professor with the University of Memphis, working with a group which regularly advises the commissioner of education and state department of education on policy issues.
Atoka's next regularly scheduled meeting of the board of mayor and aldermen will take place on Tuesday, March 8 at 7 p.m. and the school board will meet Thursday, March 10 at 7 p.m.