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THE DELIVERABLES

COACHING/CLIENT TESTIMONIALS

Stage
Whether it is grooming political candidates for Congress, speaking up for educators on The Today Show or CNN, or staging an historic docudrama for a congressional command performance, Michael Marks understands the power of the podium, messaging, and the public spotlight. After 30 years in public education and political lobbying, he is in constant demand as a keynote speaker, speech coach, director and producer. In 2005, his original stage play, The Katrina Project: Hell and High Water, played on stages across the country, generating over $400,000 to date for disaster relief. Even today, royalties from worldwide performances of the production fund scholarships for students pursuing careers in the arts. From political and fundraising campaigns to coaching witnesses for the courtroom to designing business marketing strategies and workforce development, he understands that when it comes to messaging, “All the world’s a stage.”

“Marks taught me that real competitive edge is derived from embracing many disciplines, which results in a synergy that drives creative solutions.” “Marks taught me that real competitive edge is derived from embracing many disciplines, which results in a synergy that drives creative solutions.” Bryan Brister, General Electric Plastics Scientist, Evansville, Indiana
Style
Economic and Workforce Development are hallmarks for success in any community. As a member of local civic boards, arts councils, philanthropic foundations, and state associations and commissions, Marks understands that people deliver power. From supporting downtown revitalization projects to leading tornado recovery efforts to helping provide public facilities for nursing mothers, he understands that a city’s style is synonymous with its quality of life. As chair of the inaugural Hattiesburg Hall of Fame, he is helping to lead an alumni reclamation project that showcases city school district graduates as career role models for the next generation. Helping communities become successful by utilizing their existing resources is his passion. Style counts.

“He instilled in me a desire to excel and never be complacent.” Allen N. Burke, Senior Accountant, Ernst & Young, Atlanta, Georgia
Study
Graduating from South Pike High School at 15 and Southern Miss Honors College three years later, Marks started his teaching career at 19 and has always been an advocate for quality teaching and learning. As principal of ADEPT Dropout Recovery High School, he learned that incentivizing dropouts to continue education will boosts Mississippi's economy. As national treasurer for The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, he leveraged a $63 million-dollar budget to help sustain national standards and teaching certifications based on what “good teachers ought to know and be able to do.” Elected by 3 million educators nationwide, he served as a leader for The National Education Association, helping to channel a $463 million-dollar budget to support children and public education. As Mississippi Teacher of the Year and as America’s Outstanding Teacher of the Performing Arts, he is a believer in the well-rounded student and a staunch advocate for “extracurricular activities as the other side of education.” Study matters.

“I knew after my first day on the floor of Youth Congress that I wanted a career in politics. I thank Coach Marks for opening that door for me.” Bret K. Boyles, Political Fundraiser, Washington, D.C.
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MARKS' KIDS

THE DELIVERABLES

Michael Marks is uniquely positioned by his life experiences to deliver keynote addresses, lead workshops, provide professional development, offer resources and services, help build enrichment programs, launch campaigns and promote hands-on learning in the following categories (others by request):

  • Actor Training
    Arts
  • Appreciation/Education
  • Arts as Disaster Therapy
  • Black History Month Activities
  • Board Trainings
  • Business Branding and Marketing
  • Community Development
  • Community Engagement Campaigns
  • Competitive Speaking Events
  • Crisis Management
  • Debate Training
  • Diversity/Inclusion
  • Dress for Success
  • Dropout Rates
  • Education Careers
  • Educator Mentoring
  • Employment Recognition Programs
  • Entertainment Piano
  • Event Planning and Staging
  • Extracurricular Activities
    Fundraising
  • Group Process/Consensus
  • Graduation Rates
  • Health Care Careers
  • Holiday Celebrations
  • Interview Skills
  • Keynote Addresses
  • Law-Related Education/Mock Trial
  • Legislative Lobbying
  • Life Coaching
  • Life Skills
  • Martin Luther King Volunteer Day
  • Master of Ceremonies
  • Media Training
  • Motivational Speaking
  • National Board for Professional Teaching Standards
  • National Competition Preparation
  • National Teacher Day
  • Parliamentary Procedure
  • Political Campaigns
  • Political Candidate Grooming
  • Professional Development
  • Public Relations
  • Public Speaking
  • Scholarship Competitions/Programs
  • Social Media Advice for Businesses
  • Speechwriting
  • Student Government Training
  • Talent Development
  • Talent Promotion and Representation
  • Teacher Shortage
  • Theatre Production
  • Voiceovers/Narration
  • Workforce Development
  • Youth Leadership Development
$ K
Disaster Relief benefits raised
Stage Productions
Years Spent in Education
National Championships
%
Pay raise for educators
State Mock Trial Titles
State Speech and Debate Titles

Experienced in success.

About Our Founder

 

MICHAEL MARKS BIO

Michael Marks is a former Mississippi Teacher of the Year, National Milken Educator and America’s Outstanding Teacher of the

Performing Arts.

Instructor of theatre for over 20 years at Hattiesburg High School, he directed over 50 productions including The Wiz, which

played at The International Theatre Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. Under his direction, Music Theatre International selected

HHS as America’s Best High School Performing Arts Department. His theatre students have originated roles in national shows

from Broadway’s Hairspray to Marvel’s Black Panther. HHS Thespians became the first high school in America to establish a

chapter of Equity Fights AIDS on its campus.

As debate coach at Hattiesburg high School, he qualified students to national tournaments in every event. His mock trial teams

claimed 8 state championships and as many Top Ten finishes in national competition. He served on the Deep South District

Committee, chaired The Mississippi NFL District, served as a national parliamentarian for NFL Congress, and founded the Biloxi

Catholic Forensic League.

As a playwright, his Hattiesburg High School docudrama The Katrina Project: Hell and High Water toured the continental United

States, including a performance in Dallas at the National Forensics League Tournament; enjoyed a command performance for

Congress; and received the NEA’s National Human and Civil Rights award. The show was recently revived for the 10 th

Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and to date has generated over $400,000 in relief benefits for natural disaster victims in our

country.

As former president of The Mississippi Association of Educators, he once negotiated a 36% pay raise for his state’s educators.

As former Executive Officer of the 3.3 million-member National Education Association, he was responsible for the National

Read Across America Program. He represented America at The Education International Conference in Berlin, keynoted the

India Teachers Conference and championed diversity via workshops he presented in Barbados. In addition, he served as

Treasurer of The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and chairs the Hattiesburg Mayoral Health Council. He also

chaired the National Task Force on Early Childhood Education.

A founding director and former President of The Miss Mississippi Pageant Local Directors Association, he holds the distinction

of having his contestant win the state title for a record 4 times. In addition, he directed the Miss Mississippi Troupe and served

as talent coach for Mississippi’s last national winner. In addition to a Miss America title, his former students have also included

an America’s Junior Miss (now America’s Distinguished Young Woman).

When funding was recently cut from the Hattiesburg High School Debate Team, he organized Speak Up, Hattiesburg, a

community-built coalition that raised $16K to keep the speech and debate team on the road. This year, Speech and Debate

coaches from across the country recognized his efforts with their Josephine Dukes National Teacher of the Year distinction. A

member of the Public Relations Association of Mississippi, he is co-author of the book, Katrina: Ten Years After and serves as a

director on the boards for Hattiesburg Public School District Foundation, Downtown Hattiesburg, the Pine Belt Foundation and

Mississippi’s Miss Hospitality Competition.

For his exceptional community service, he received the Martin Luther King, Jr. Award from his alma mater, The University of

Southern Mississippi. He is a former principal of Mississippi’s ADEPT Dropout Recovery School and is the former Public

Relations Coordinator at Forrest General Hospital in Hattiesburg and recently raised thousands of dollars for Hattiesburg Public

School District student scholarships, teacher grants and early childhood education, as chair of the inaugural Hattiesburg Hall of

Fame.

 

 

 

 

              

As Instructor of theatre for over 20 years at Hattiesburg High School, he directed over 50 productions including The Wiz, which played at The International Theatre Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. Under his direction, Music Theatre International selected HHS as America’s Best High School Performing Arts Department. His theatre students have originated roles in national shows from Broadway’s Hairspray to Marvel’s Black Panther. HHS Thespians became the first high school in America to establish a chapter of Equity Fights AIDS on its campus.

 
 
 
 
 

As debate coach at Hattiesburg high School, he qualified students to national tournaments in every event. His mock trial teams claimed 8 state championships and as many Top Ten finishes in national competition. He served on the Deep South District Committee, chaired The Mississippi NFL District, served as a national parliamentarian for NFL Congress, and founded the Biloxi Catholic Forensic League.

 
 
 
 
 

As a playwright, his Hattiesburg High School docudrama The Katrina Project: Hell and High Water toured the continental United States, including a performance in Dallas at the National Forensics League Tournament; enjoyed a command performance for Congress; and received the NEA’s National Human and Civil Rights award. The show was recently revived for the 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and to date has generated over $400,000 in relief benefits for natural disaster victims in our country.

 
 
 
 
 

As former president of The Mississippi Association of Educators, he once negotiated a 36% pay raise for his state’s educators. As former Executive Officer of the 3.3 million-member National Education Association, he was responsible for the National Read Across America Program. He represented America at The Education International Conference in Berlin, keynoted the India Teachers Conference and championed diversity via workshops he presented in Barbados. In addition, he served as Treasurer of The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and chairs the Hattiesburg Mayoral Health Council. He also chaired the National Task Force on Early Childhood Education.Hattiesburg Mayoral Health Council. He also chaired the National Task Force on Early Childhood Education.

 
 
 
 
 

A founding director and former President of The Miss Mississippi Pageant Local Directors Association, he holds the distinction of having his contestant win the state title for a record 4 times. In addition, he directed the Miss Mississippi Troupe and served as talent coach for Mississippi’s last national winner. In addition to a Miss America title, his former students have also included an America’s Junior Miss (now America’s Distinguished Young Woman).

 
 
 
 
 

Arts & Crafts

MICHAEL MARKS ARTS RESUME

Chaired Theatre and Dance Credentialing Committee for National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, Arlington, Virginia

Conducted national survey on status of Dance Programs in Mississippi Secondary Schools

Choreographer, City of Hattiesburg’s entry in All-American City Competition, Atlanta, Georgia

Host, Summer Dance Workshops for South Mississippi public schools

Mississippi Arts Commission Visual Arts Grants Adjudicator

Coordinator of Extra Table Philanthropy Student Christmas Card Design Partnership

Hattiesburg Children’s Museum Exploratory Committee

Volunteer, Congressional Art Show

Host, Disaster Art Show, Hattiesburg Cultural Center (The Katrina Project 10th Anniversary Revival Show, City Visual Art Exhibit, part of Governor’s Katrina Remembrance Commission)

Coordinator, South Mississippi “Healing Through the Arts “(Tornado Relief/Arts Therapy)

13 years private piano (Grace Lane Leggett Piano Curriculum Diploma)

Three consecutive state superiors, Bach/Concerto Festivals

13 years of private saxophone

Youth Choir Director/Accompanist: New Zion Baptist Church, Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Mt. Calvary Baptist Church, New Jerusalem Baptist Church

Pianist, Forrest Health Spirit in Action Awards

Musical Theatre Production Composer/Arranger

Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Fraternity, Region VIII Historian

Original Exploratory Committee for Hattiesburg Arts Center (HAC)

Commissioner, Mississippi Arts Commission

Hattiesburg Arts Council Board of Directors, Artist of the Month Chair

Television Publicity for Arts Lobby Day at the State Capitol

Coordinator, “Kindness in Action,” FOX23 Community Good News Television Segment  

Southern Miss Partners for the Arts, Board of Directors and Governance Council

Mississippi Arts Commission Whole Schools Institute

Participant, The Art of Culinary Food Presentation Workshop/Disney World, Orlando

Founder, Speak Up Hattiesburg ($16K community-led HHS Fundraiser for HHS Performing Arts Department)

Director, Hattiesburg Arts Council Gospel Brunch, Hattiesburg Cultural Center

Narrator, Public Broadcasting Video: Education the Way Up (with Hollywood actress Alfre Woodard)

Adjudicator, Poetry Alive Project, Mississippi Arts Commission/Lauren Rogers Art Museum, Laurel, MS

Adjudicator, California State Poetry Slam Finals, Los Angeles

Coordinator, Forrest General Hospital Concert Series

Staged countless national, regional, state and local workshops on “Building Community Support for Arts Programs”

National Education Association’s National Fine Arts Caucus

Benefactor, Mackenzie Westmoreland Memorial Scholarship for the Performing Arts (Pine Belt Foundation)

Benefactor, Michael Marks Performing Arts Scholarship (Southern Miss)

Helped design Fine Arts Wing at Hattiesburg High School

National Chair, NEA Early Childhood Education Task Force

Miss America National Producers Committee for Live Broadcasting

NBC’s Today Show Guest:  Read Across America National Spokesperson

CNN Guest Commentator: Funding Public Education

Hundreds of electronic and print interviews as NEA Spokesperson for the arts

Co-author of the book, Katrina: Ten Years After

Chaired Theatre and Dance Credentialing Committee for National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, Arlington, Virginia

Conducted national survey on status of Dance Programs in Mississippi Secondary Schools

Choreographer, City of Hattiesburg’s entry in All-American City Competition, Atlanta, Georgia

Host, Summer Dance Workshops for South Mississippi public schools

BS Degree in Speech Education/Theatre, University of Southern Mississippi (MS Degree in Public Relations/Journalism)

30-year arts educator (musical theatre, show choir, drama)

Directed more than 50 student showcases

Hattiesburg Civic Light Opera Director, Actor, Board of Directors

Just Over the Rainbow Theatre President and Director

Director, Hattiesburg Coalition for the Arts (Black Theatre)

National Chair, Secondary Schools Theatre Programs

National Steering Committee of National Arts Education Partnership

Playwright: The Katrina Project: Hell and High Water (National Tour and Congressional Command Performance)

Hattiesburg High School (HHS) honored by Music Theatre International as America’s Best High School Performing Arts Department

HHS Chapter of Equity Fights A.I.D.S. – first high school chapter in the nation

America’s Outstanding Teacher of the Performing Arts, 1994 (presented by Richard Dreyfuss)

Solo and Duo Acting Championships: Yale, Harvard, Wake Forest Tournaments

Director Finalist for Yale University Dramat

Four Mississippi Theatre Association High School Drama Championships (The Dining Room, Romance-Romance, The Laramie Project, and The Katrina Project: Hell and High Water

Three national drama championship first runner-up shows: The Dining Room, The Laramie Project and The Katrina Project: Hell and High Water

Mississippi Theatre Association Community Theatre Representative to National Drama Championship (Driving Miss Daisy/JORT)

HHS Cast of The Wiz selected to the inaugural Top Ten American High Schools to perform at the largest theatre gathering in the world:  International Theatre Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland and for the Queen of England

Cast of Guys and Dolls performed on international television via the Disney Channel, telecast live from Washington D.C.’s historic Warner Theater.

Laurel Little Theatre Performer

Best Actor, Mississippi Theatre Association

All-Star Cast Actor, Southeastern Theatre Conference

Outstanding Director, Mississippi Theatre Association

Special Commendation for Mississippi Teacher of the Year from Mississippi Theatre Association

Special Commendation for Mississippi Teacher of the Year from Mississippi House of Representatives

Student Alumni have appeared on Broadway in Showboat, The Lion King, Gillette, and Hairspray; movies: Princess Diaries, The Hollow, The Magnificent SevenThe Historian and Marvel’s Black Panther; as well as with the famed comedy team, Blue Man Group

Local Casting Director for Historia Films

Founder, Hub City Classic Tournament for Student Actors

Founder, Biloxi Catholic Forensic League for Student Actors

Command Performance of Freedom Summer at Southeastern Theatre Conference

Narrator, “Peter and the Wolf,” Saenger Theater Regional Theatre Production partnership with Hattiesburg Arts Council

Narrator, Dr. Kimberly Davis’ Southeastern United States Showcase, “Honoring the African- American Artist and Composer”

Narrator, Festival South production of Robert Johnson: “The Man, The Myth & the Music” (with Vasti Jackson)

Phyllis Barton Scholar to University of Iowa Summer Acting Institute

United States Delegate to India Street Theatre Festival, Bangalore, India

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