New principal already making a mark at Melrose

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. --  Mark Neal is comfortable walking the halls of Melrose High School and getting close to the students.

The Tipton County native said the opportunity to work with and mentor young African Americans, especially males, was the main he reason he took this job, "It was one of the biggest draws, one of the biggest pull factors."

This is Neal's first year as Melrose's principal, after a 14-year career at Millington Central High School.

He's facing some serious challenges.

The neighborhood surrounding the school is a haven for violence and students are in the bottom five percent of performing schools.

"With poverty comes drugs, gangs. There comes apathy towards school, so these are all things we're combating."

Neal has a plan to get things back on track.

He hired dozens of new teachers who support his plan and works closely with his staff to make sure they have the tools they need to help students to meet his high expectations.

Mr. Neal and the staff understand the legacy of Melrose and welcome the community's help turning the school around, "We believe in making connections with alumni, and the current students making connections with stakeholders, philanthropists, anyone who is interested in a greater Memphis."

Neal has been dubbed the quiet storm because of calm demeanor and firm leadership, but the results are clear.

He knows the road ahead is long, but he says at least now they're on the right path to return the Golden Wildcats to their former glory.

5 comments

  • charles

    they where on track with mr.pointer. he was by far the best principle melrose has ever had, in my opinion! my senior year at melrose was wonderful and it was because of him!

  • Clay

    I know him as Coach Neal from being in his first year in Millington as my home room teacher as well as one of my freshman/varsity football coaches. Coach not only was a great teacher and coach but a great person as well. I have no doubt he will do great things there at Melrose. Congrats And goodluck Coach!

  • Mrs. Kim

    I love this!!! I applaud the heartfelt sincerity, endless hours of both work and worry, and dedication from the heart to make a difference. You make this BMS teacher proud!!

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