Coach Marcos poses for a picture in his military uniform. Staff Photo/ Pierre Marcos
You probably know Coach Marcos from hearing his booming voice across campus. The NDP English teacher isn’t exactly the quiet type, and never has been. He has lived his life with passion, serving in the Marine Corps, and is now using his passion to teach. He firmly embodies the value that he preaches the most; tenacity.
Coach Marco’s story starts in his childhood. He was born in Cairo, Egypt, where he was raised by a single mother. Marcos said he was loved and taken care of and that he made a lot of really good friends. He learned early on that what’s really important in life is relationships. “It’s not about how much you have or what you have, but the relationships you have with other people,” said Marcos. He believes his childhood shaped him into the man he is today.
Growing up Marcos had a strong affinity for action movies. Some of his favorite actors included Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone. He loved any movie about a good guy going on a mission and his love for these stories implanted a desire to become a hero himself. “I wondered what would allow me to travel the world fighting crime. I thought about the FBI, CIA, Interpol, and figured the best way to get there was starting out by becoming a professional soldier,” said Marcos. This desire to fight crime led him to join the United States Marine Corps.
Marcos summarizes his time in the marines as the best and worst time of his life. “It was the best because I would never replace it and I look back and miss a lot of it, and the worst because it was extremely hard. A lot of the situations I found myself in I was just not emotionally ready for,” said Marcos.
He learned some of his most important lessons during his time in the marines. “I learned to practice self-control and that discipline is key. That I need a routine to function well and be successful. I learned that in life you have to respect authority. You are going to meet people in leadership positions who you wouldn’t follow out the front door, let alone whatever situation they’re in charge of. But you have to be respectful, focus on your own work, and hopefully one day you’ll find yourself in a leadership position where you’ll be able to do it right,” said Marcos.
When asked what led him to become a teacher, Marcos said that it wasn’t his original intent. “It was definitely God’s plan for me because it wasn’t mine. While I was undergoing the hiring processes for a couple different law enforcement agencies, I decided to use my Montgomery GI Bill to attend graduate school, where I earned my masters in English. Not for any reason other than being productive and making good use of my time,” said Marcos.
One Thursday evening, sitting in one of his graduate courses, Marcos came to a realization. All he wanted to do was make a positive impact on society and after learning the reality of the world of law enforcement, he wasn’t sure if chasing criminals was the best way to accomplish that. “I had an epiphany and thought, wait a second, I love to teach and learn, and the people I had always looked up to the most in my life were my coaches and my teachers. I can do that, maybe I can teach,” said Marcos. Three days later, while at church, Marcos happened to run into some of his old highschool teachers. “We started talking and I told them I was toying with the idea of becoming a teacher. They told me I should come back to my Alma Mater and see if I like it, which I did, and the rest is history,” said Marcos.
Since making his decision to become a teacher, Coach Marcos has gained the reputation of being an outspoken member of the NDP community. NDP chemistry teacher Melissa Riordan, a co-worker of Marcos, said “Coach Marcos is full of life, full of energy, very outspoken, and definitely loud. I admire his strive and his passion. Whenever he addresses a student in House St. Michael, he puts his all into it. I really admire his passion, energy, and positive outlook.”
Marcos has a genuine passion for teaching and his students. NDP junior Sophia Smith said “I admire how much he cares about students and their well-being.” Marcos himself said “I love the relationships aspect of teaching. I love being able to connect with students and jump into each student’s individual world.”
Coach Marcos is a man of passion and tenacity. His determination to improve the lives of students in our community is admirable to say the least. When asked for a final piece of advice for students, Marcos said, “There’s a saying in the Marines, embrace the suck. Which means, it’s supposed to be hard. If it doesn’t challenge you, it’s never going to improve you. If school is tough, good. If your social life is tough, good. If your personal life is tough, good. It’s growing you and improving you. As people of faith, God is molding and developing us and it’s important to find meaning in what you’re going through. Work on improving yourself day in and day out.”