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The Student News Site of The Woodlands College Park High School

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The Student News Site of The Woodlands College Park High School

Cavalier Post

The Student News Site of The Woodlands College Park High School

Cavalier Post

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Our Very Own Hometown Hero

Photo courtesy: https://twcp.conroeisd.net/administration/
Photo courtesy: https://twcp.conroeisd.net/administration/

Our beloved College Park principal, Dr. Mark Murrell, was recently given the esteemed award of Interfaith of the Woodlands Hometown Hero for his accomplishments and impact in the community throughout his career. 

Since 1999, the Hometown Hero award has been presented to individuals and organizations who have made significant contributions to their community. Starting as a math teacher, Dr. Murrell worked his way up to eventually become a principal of a brand new high school and to do many things for our students and the community.

“I had no idea that it was happening,” Dr. Murrell said. An administrator invited him to the library, where his wife, family, and Interfaith members stood to announce the honor. “It was a big surprise, not something you expect.”

Keeping it a secret, he was notified about the award in November 2023 and it was announced publicly in January 2024. To celebrate, Dr. Murrell bought delicious cupcakes for everyone at College Park. 

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Murrell said the students are great examples of why staff and administration do what they do, which is “helping people reach their potential and their dreams.” 

Dr. Murrell is nothing but grateful for every student that got him to where he is today. Many students made as much of an impact on him as he did on them. He shared countless stories about some of his most impactful students who continue to live on in the College Park legacy, affecting him from not only their tragedy, but from their perseverance. 

Teachers get excited when they make real connections with a student, Murrell said, adding that he likes when teachers and students are connected. The foundation that College Park is built from, a healthy environment to cultivate relationships between students and teachers. 

Bonds between students are beneficial, Murrell said, “Because that talks about the relationships that we work on and it’s important to us.” He emphasized how relationships are important and may last throughout life. 

Many students have returned to The Woodlands to raise their families with hopes that their children will attend College Park, many of whom met right here on campus. Dr. Murrell is proud of the connections he has built with many of his past students and the students have built with each other. 

“If it’s the best thing for kids, go for it. If it’s not the best thing for kids or it’s not kids-centered, then you might have an issue. I’m fortunate that we’ve been able to assemble a staff that’s kid-focused and kid-centered,” Murrell said. 

Creating an environment for the students is something that Dr. Murrell focuses very closely on rather than being centered around only what is best for the teachers. It must be a win-win and a healthy growth mind-set.

“When College Park opened, we troubleshooted every single possible issue that could have happened when opening a new school.  So, when we had the first day of school, it was just like any other day of school and we had zero problems and zero issues,” Murrell said. 

Opening a school is not easy, especially a 6A school. Murrell knew from his past experiences that opening a large school meant that there would be different priorities, and staff would need to take certain precautions. 

The preparation to open College Park did not stop. The three goals of the first day of school are to “get everybody where they’re supposed to be, feed them, and get them home,” Murrell said. “This is what makes a great day for our kids.  It is the most stressful time of the year for them.  They do not know who will be in their classes or where to sit at lunch.  Once we get them through that day, everything falls into place for them.

Along with many of the students that impacted Dr. Murrell, he also wanted to shine light on all of the teachers and administrators who have helped him along his journey. Murrell said he couldn’t have done it all on his own. He honored the help of Mr. Holden, who has been with him for over ten years, Dr. Hersberger and Mr. Koslosky, who have been at College Park since the beginning, and the continuing support from the rest of the staff. The gratitude shined as he spoke of his past and present supporters. 

When we asked Dr. Murrell what the Ted Lasso series meant to him, he said, “Talk about somebody who matches up with the philosophy of what we’re about…it wasn’t about him [Ted], it wasn’t about anything, it was about the team.” 

“This whole award is really about College Park High School. College Park High School is the driving force for me to receive this, but it’s about everybody involved. It’s about y’all as students, it’s about the staff.” Dr. Murrell said. 

We are extremely lucky to have such an inspiring principal at College Park. The hero within the spirit of Dr. Murrell fosters great inspiration inside the school and surrounding community.    

“For me, success is not about the wins and losses. It’s about helping these young fellas be the best versions of themselves on and off the field.” ~ Ted Lasso

“BELIEVE”

Dr. Murrell, the Reveliers, and the cheerleaders hand out cupcakes on the day of the (Eleanor Kelly)

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About the Contributors
Eleanor Kelly
Eleanor Kelly, Editor in Chief
Emily Hughes
Emily Hughes, Assistant Editor
Nyx Garibi-Moreyra
Nyx Garibi-Moreyra, News Story and Feature Writer
Community and World Events Journalist
Mercedes Borjas
Mercedes Borjas, Feature Writer
Climate Change/Environment Journalist
Dayan Rivera, Health and Wellness
Journalism specialization is lifestyle, specifically health and wellness.

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