Robert L. Marple ’01 chose Shenandoah because it has always held a special place in his family’s heart, with his brother, Tom Marple ’80 also being a graduate of the university. “SU provided me with a great opportunity to continue my education and grow my craft as a leader and educator,” said Marple. “SU and those who serve the students of SU care deeply about each individual and their journey.”
Marple keeps in very close contact with many of his colleagues that he attended courses with at SU. “The relationships I cultivated at SU have served me well,” said Marple. “I remember many powerful and inspiring conversations with my mentors Dr. Creasey, Dr. Burdick and Dr. Goss.”
Marple is the principal at Cedar Lane Elementary School in Ashburn, Virginia. In his position, he serves the student, staff and community of Ashburn. Before he was principal, he held other positions in his career, including a basketball coach, Physical Education teacher, middle school dean, an assistant principal at the elementary and high school level and principal at Hamilton Elementary School in Hamilton, Virginia. In 2022, Marple was named Principal of the Year for Loudoun County Public Schools by the Washington Post. He has been in the education field for 27 years and is looking forward to continuing to serve.
The most rewarding part of Marple’s education career is supporting, engaging and inspiring students, staff and school community. He also enjoys presenting at conferences throughout the United States.
“School leadership is not a job, but more an opportunity and blessing,” said Marple. “I feel so honored to serve my school community and I am thankful and appreciative to SU for my experiences.”
Marple’s advice to students is: “Enjoy the journey and remember at the very heart of our mission as educators is the importance of cultivating meaningful relationships with those we support and serve. You will be far more successful when you focus on being the kindest person in the room versus attempting to be the smartest person in the room.”