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Marcus High School's Online Newspaper

The Marquee

Former school assistant principal embraces new role as M9 principal

Jessica True has settled into her new position since being named the new M9 principal on June 13, 2022 and is ready to help the new students on the M9 campus.

She replaced Chantell Upshaw, who was promoted to Chief of Middle Schools for LISD after serving as Marcus 9 principal since the campus was built eight years ago.

True says she is excited to be serving as the principal after Upshaw, who she looks up to for her contributions to the M9 campus.

“I think she put a lot of fantastic structures into place,” True said. “She created a staff that is good at taking risks and trying new things.”

Before Principal True transitioned to this role, she served as an assistant principal at the main campus for two years. Prior to this, she also worked at Flower Mound 9 for four years as an assistant principal.

She says she is passionate about helping students in this stage of their lives.

“I think the ninth grade year is a really special year,” True said. “I really have always liked helping kids make that transition smooth and successful.”

 • • •

I was playing classroom with my stuffed animals as a child. It was an early dream and then also became a later reality.

— Jessica True

From a young age, True had been interested in teaching.

“I was playing classroom with my stuffed animals as a child,” True said. “It was an early dream and then also became a later reality.”

True received a Bachelor of Science in Sociology from UNT, and later received her Masters of Education from there as well.

However, after graduation, she decided to enter the corporate world, which she did not enjoy as much as she thought she would.

“I don’t get to see kids as much,” True said. “I kind of really missed that.”

Her passion for helping kids persuaded her to return to education, which was her lifelong goal.

She is currently working on getting a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from Stephen F. Austin University in her spare time.

True says an advantage of working at M9 is getting to work with the same campus.

Jessica True spent time working a corporate job before deciding on a career in education. (Leslyn Lindsey)

“It’s actually one of the biggest rewards of the job to already know that there’s a campus next door that we’re connected to, that is going in the same direction,” True said. “It’s nice to be able to partner with someone on making a difference.”

Helping kids along as they grow is one of the aspects True loves most about this job. She enjoys seeing former students and the people they eventually become.

“I think kids can do anything they put their minds to,” True said. “High school is all about trying to figure out what you might love to do after high school.”

During her first year at M9, True wants to observe the operations of the school to get used to its flow.

“My plan for the year is to adjust things that in the moment absolutely have to be adjusted,” True said. “One of the best things a new principal can do is kind of sit back and watch.”

Principal Will Skelton, who has worked with True both at the main campus and Flower Mound 9, said that her promotion was well-deserved.

“She has always been one of the highest performing administrators in the district,” Skelton said.

Helping this community is important to True, as she grew up in LISD and went to Lewisville High School. Working in the same place she grew up brings back good memories.

“The school has a smell to it,” True said. “And it just brought me back to playing sports in high school and the teachers I loved.”

Principal True has been an assistant principal for six years. She spent two of those years at the main campus. (Leslyn Lindsey)

During her time as principal, True wants to inspire these same memories in her students through an environment that fosters learning. She also strives to help students feel safe and comfortable at school.

“Those are number one things for me,” True said. “That we create environments that are inviting students to learn new things, to try new things.”
Skelton said that True’s “servant leadership” is what makes her a great administrator.

“When you have that type of mindset, it creates a very positive culture,” Skelton said. “And I’m really excited to see what Marcus 9 does in the future, under her leadership.”

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Raksha Jayakumar
Raksha Jayakumar, Managing Editor
Raksha (she/her) is excited for her second year on staff as Managing Editor! She is a huge swiftie, meaning she has good taste (reputation is top-tier). She loves everybody on staff and is super duper excited to work with them all. <3 

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