Marcus Allen: Joins administrative team with a “superlative smile”

Just folks being kind and welcoming is what made it so smooth for me.



Then vs Now. . . Mr. Allen in high school and then at Linganore.

by Caroline Hobson and Leslie Zampier

What’s it like being a vice principal, father, and husband all in one? 

For Marcus Allen, it means finding the right balance between his daily life as a vice principal at Linganore and a father/husband in Urbana. 

Allen is the newest addition to the administrative team. He transferred from Urbana mid school year to replace retiring vice principal Aaron Phillips. He came with an eager mindset and superlative smile.

“My transition here to Linganore has been really smooth, and what made it so smooth was the staff. Some of the students I have met are just very welcoming,” said Allen. 

Allen has served at five high schools in the Frederick County area. He taught at Frederick High and then was promoted to be an assistant principal at Thomas Johnson High. In subsequent years he moved to Catoctin, Urbana, and now Linganore. 

“The dynamic has definitely changed between Frederick schools . . .  Each school has been very unique in each setting, and, I think that in my case, each setting it gets better for me,” said Allen. 

His interest in becoming an educator was sparked in high school. He grew up in Chicago, where he attended John Marshall Metropolitan High School. His inspiration comes from one of his favorite teachers at John Marshall, Mr. Little.

“I majored in education and one of my high school teachers, Mr. Little, really inspired me. I love reading different types of literature. This is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I want to be an English teacher and teach literature, and that was my goal,” said Allen. 

After graduating high school, Mr. Allen left Chicago to attend the University of South Florida. While there,he found a program that one of his professors created called Project PILOT, which stands for Preparing Innovative Leaders Of Tomorrow. This helped Allen shape his future career in teaching. 

“It was a project that prepared African American men for urban special education teaching careers. They would go on to pay for my college expenses. I was fortunate enough to be one of 31 men who graduated and taught children with special needs,” said Allen. 

After receiving his degree in Education, Allen went on to teach special education students at the middle school level. 

“You know, it was a different experience because when I began teaching it was mid year just like I’m starting mid year here at Linganore. I started mid year at this middle school in Tampa. The classroom that I was assigned to had a long term sub until I arrived. When I arrived I really helped the kids in this special education group learn social and life skills for the future. It was really a challenge at first, but I would say that was one of the best parts of my early teaching career, just helping these students grow and learn in a classroom where they could feel safe,” said Allen. 

The interest to become a vice principal sparked after his early teaching experience. He was surrounded by administrators, teachers, and family who all encouraged him to become an administrator himself. Allen comes from a large family of 11 brothers and sisters, and a father who was a teacher. Allen is the only teacher out of his 11 siblings and has always received positive encouragement from his father and wife throughout his teaching journey. 

“My early teaching experience I really treasure. During my early teacher learning experience, I had a great principal that helped me be the educator that I am today. I did a lot of co-teaching with teachers that taught general ed classes and language arts, math and science and social studies. So I gained valuable experience through those general educators.”

Allen’s wife has always been one of his biggest supporters. During his time as a teacher at Frederick High, he took initiative in becoming an administrator. His administrators at Frederick High, Denise Fargo-Devine and Olivia Robbins were the ones who helped him achieve his goals. 

“I thought to myself after serving under my middle school principal that this is something that is an interesting job. I thought about it, and at that time, I told my wife about it and she never let me forget it. My wife never wanted me to forget my dream so eventually I said it was time and I acted on it. My first principal at Frederick High school when I shared with her and immediate supervisor they said ok we will teach you and show you what it’s like in the world of being an administrator. So I would like to credit them because they are really part of the reason why I am here today and who helped show me the way,” said Allen. 

Allen’s high school experience was one he would never forget. He won the senior superlative of “Best Smile, ” ran track, participated in yearbook, and was the school’s mascot! 

“I was also the school mascot, we were the marshall high school comandos. The commando is basically an infantry man with army gear and I wore a big almost 10 pound helmet and used a big play rifle so I served as a mascot for a couple of years,” said Allen. 

Since his high school career, Allen has retired his title of “Commando” mascot and picked up the title of Vice Principal to serve as one of Linganore’s new faces to encourage school spirit.

He is a devoted member of his church and often finds inspiration in the message of loving others to lead as Vice Principal. 

“Well the lessons that I have learned in church about loving you know other people like you love yourself I think that’s the primary lesson just being able to love other folks because to be a teacher you have to have a love for what you do and a love for the people that you are serving you know what I mean so I think that’s the major lesson that I practice,” said Allen.