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Monticello CSD welcomes new director of curriculum

April 3, 2018

Linda Oehler-MarxWhen Linda Oehler-Marx enrolled in a teacher certification program at Pace University, it was just supposed to be a strategic move to further her career in the publishing industry. Instead, it became the first step of a life-long journey through the education field culminating into a position as director of curriculum at Monticello Central School District.

In her new role at Monticello, Ms. Oehler-Marx will be responsible for developing, evaluating and improving district-wide curriculum, instruction and assessment policies and procedures, ensuring that the academic needs of all learners at Monticello are being met -- but years ago, she was a new college graduate working with book packaging in the publishing field.

“When you’re 24 years old and going to editorial meetings in publishing, you tend to get pushed around a lot,” Ms. Oehler-Marx said. “I felt like I didn’t have a strong voice and I asked a science writer friend of mine how I could get some weight in the industry without waiting forever and my friend suggested that a teacher certification would be an asset in the publishing world.”

It was her second student teaching placement in Port Chester High School in Port Chester, New York that catapulted her out of publishing and into education for good.

“My first student teaching position was in a typical southern Westchester affluent school district, where the nannies were dropping the kids off in Range Rovers,” she said. “But Port Chester was different—it was a working-class town with a significant population of immigrants and English learners. There, I taught AP Literature and remedial freshman English and on day one, I knew that this was what I was meant to do.”

She has worn many hats since that first day in Port Chester. She taught students with severe emotional disturbances and learning disabilities in her hometown of Washington, D.C. before returning to New York where she taught English at several area high schools before tackling administrative roles. She was hired as the Director of Curriculum at a small, progressive Pre-K-12 private school in Woodstock, a unique experience which she said enabled her to play an integral role in creating and shaping a curriculum program outside the confines of the New York State Department of Education. She was the Director of Instructional Support at Sullivan County BOCES and most recently worked teaching English in the Valley Central School District in Montgomery, New York, where she created a writing center in the middle and high school.

Between shaping curriculum, evaluating student work and classroom instruction throughout the years, she has also managed to earn a district administrative certificate and a doctorate of Curriculum and Instruction while staying active through yoga and biking, and raising a family. Her husband is a Vice President of Continuing Education at SUNY Ulster, her son recently graduated college and her teenage daughter is a high school student. The family recently added a new Goldendoodle puppy, named Scout, to its ranks.

“Ms. Oehler-Marx’s diverse experience will be a tremendous asset to our students and to our district’s goal of creating opportunities through education for each and every one of our students,” Superintendent of Schools Tammy Mangus said. “We’re excited to have her join our team.”

Ms. Mangus isn’t the only one excited.

“During my time at Sullivan County BOCES, I had the opportunity to work closely with the principals and administrators of the MCSD,” Ms. Oehler-Marx said. “I’ve always been impressed by the passion of the principals and the audaciousness of the leadership, so when I saw the job posting for this position, I knew that this was a team I wanted to be a part of.”