Mary Jacqe Marchione, 59, educator and administrator in Baltimore County

April 25, 2004|By Greg Garland | Greg Garland,SUN STAFF

Mary Jacqe Marchione, a well-known Baltimore County educator, died of cancer Friday at her Hunt Valley home. She was 59.

Born Mary Jacqe Peck in Danville, Va., she grew up in Baltimore. She earned a bachelor of arts and a master of education degree from Towson University and did postgraduate work at Loyola College in Baltimore.

Her husband, Anthony G. Marchione, is a former Baltimore County school superintendent who holds the No. 2 position in county government as county administrative officer.

Mrs. Marchione spent 31 years working in Baltimore County's public school system as a teacher, assistant principal, principal and administrator.

"She was an exceptional teacher and an absolutely outstanding principal and administrator," her husband said. "She influenced a lot of lives."

Mrs. Marchione was principal of Franklin Elementary School from 1980 to 1990, then served for three years as principal of Joppa View Elementary School.

She went on to become director of elementary schools for the county's northwest area and then director of professional development for the county school system.

After retiring from the county school system in 2002, she went to work for the Maryland Department of Education as director of leadership development.

Baltimore County Executive James T. Smith Jr. praised Mrs. Marchione's work as an educator.

"She had a vibrancy and an intellect that inspired and challenged others to do their best for the students," he said.

John Smeallie, a state education department administrator who formerly served as personnel director for the county schools, said Mrs. Marchione left her mark.

He said she was instrumental in developing a highly successful teacher mentoring program in the county that paired veteran teachers with novices.

"She was a very potent, charismatic inspirational figure," Mr. Smeallie said. "She was a great lady "

Shari Solomon Duckworth, a former student, said Mrs. Marchione impressed the youngsters she taught.

"I used to stay after school on purpose to clap the erasers to spend more time with her," said Mrs. Duckworth, who had Mrs. Marchione as her first-grade teacher at Summit Park Elementary School.

She said she got her parents to invite her teacher to dinner at their home in Pikesville, and it was the beginning of a close family friendship that lasted for 30 years.

"She came to all of our birthday parties, all my ballet recitals. ... She helped to throw my bridal shower about six months ago," said Mrs. Duckworth, who now lives in Attleboro, Mass. "She's a very special lady."

Claudia Fischer, who worked for 15 years as Mrs. Marchione's administrative assistant and now works in a similar capacity for the educator's husband, said that Mrs. Marchione was "everybody's friend and mentor."

Mrs. Fischer said that Mrs. Marchione's hobbies "were her kids, her students."

"She touched so many lives in Baltimore County, not only students but her co-workers," Mrs. Fischer said. "She did everything from the heart."

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. tomorrow at the Roman Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception in Towson.

Besides her husband of 13 years, she leaves a sister, Helen Stahl of Perry Hall; a daughter, Kelly Brauer of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; a stepson, Mark Marchione of Parkton; two stepdaughters, Amy Pearson of Parkton and Beth Schlimme of Stewartstown, Pa.; and seven grandchildren. Two earlier marriages ended in divorce.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Mary Jacqe Marchione Scholarship Fund at Towson University.

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