The Walt Whitman High School community is mourning the loss of Jerome Marco, a longtime principal at the Bethesda school who died May 9.
“He did a lot for our school,” said Alan Goodwin, the school’s principal, who worked as assistant principal for Marco for four years. “Because of his work with the community, staff and students, he gave the school a national reputation for its academic and extracurricular excellence. He just really loved the students, and he always encouraged those who worked with him to make the best decisions for the students.”
His age and cause of death could not be learned Tuesday.
After teaching in Pennsylvania, Marco was hired as a math teacher at Wheaton High in 1962, Goodwin said. He then became a counselor and an assistant principal.
He served as principal at Walt Whitman High from 1975 until he retired in 2004.
At the time of his retirement, he was the longest-serving principal in the school system, according to the school’s newspaper, Black and White, which published a report about Marco’s death Monday.
Marco was student-centered, Goodwin said.
“He was a role model in his work ethic and also his kindness to others,” he said. “What he had a reputation for is he was very careful and quick to thank people with personal notes, for things that they did.”
Marco was an outstanding educator, leader and a mentor, according to a statement released by the school system.
“For 29 years, Dr. Marco served as the principal of Walt Whitman High School and was integral to building its reputation as one of the nation's best high schools. Dr. Marco was greatly admired by staff, parents and students and always made decisions that were in the best interests of his students,” the statement said.
The Whitman community will host a service honoring his legacy; the details are not yet arranged.