The Montgomery County Public Schools are mourning the death of Jerry Marco, the longtime principal of Walt Whitman High School.
Marco, who passed away Wednesday, served as Whitman's principal between 1975 and 2004, when he unexpectedly retired due to health problems. At the time of his retirement, Marco was the longest-serving principal in Montgomery County Public Schools.
Originally from Pennsylvania, Marco worked in the Montgomery County school system as a math teacher, counselor, and assistant principal before becoming the principal of Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School at the age of 34.
While at Whitman, Marco became known for his accessability and his emphasis on music, arts, and other extracurricular activities. In 1988, Marco also founded the school's Connections program, which helps students who have emotional, behavioral, and social issues.
MCPS released a statement that read, in part:
"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 Whitman community will host a service honoring Dr. Marco's legacy in the near future."