Featured Teacher:
Stephen Marks

December 18th, 2018


Steven Marks

Each month we share the stories of dynamic educators who are using MasteryConnect in innovative ways to help students be their best! Follow along with our Featured Teacher series and get to know other teachers in the MC community.

Meet Stephen Marks, a dedicated social studies teacher at Evergreen Middle School in Ohio. After teaching for 13 years, Stephen still gets excited about being the leader of his classroom every single day. In the summer when he’s not in the classroom he’s busy watching his favorite team, the Detroit Tigers! Keep reading to find out what book he says all first-year teachers should read and his favorite time-saving MC feature!


What is your school and district?
Evergreen Middle School – Evergreen Local Schools

What grades have you taught?

What is your favorite activity outside of the classroom?
Following the Detroit Tigers all summer long.

How do you avoid burnout?
Daily exercise to reduce stress. Trying new things in the classroom to keep things fresh.

What keeps you excited about teaching?
The challenge of being a servant leader on a daily basis.

Why did you start teaching?
To try and make a small positive impact on students each day.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
“You are the CEO of your classroom”.

If you could choose a “walk-on song” to be played every morning, what would it be?
“Odds Are” by Barenaked Ladies

What is your favorite book on education?
Conscious Classroom Management by Rick Smith.

What advice would you give a first-year teacher?
Read “Conscious Classroom Management” by Rick Smith before the school year starts. Without skills in this area your instructional skills never get a chance to shine.

If you weren’t a teacher, what kind of career would you have?
Lawyer or psychologist.

What has been the most memorable moment in your teaching career so far?
Every time I’ve helped a student surprise themselves in a positive way is memorable.

What is your favorite quote?
The only place where success comes before work is the dictionary.

Tell us one of your goals for this year.
90%+ passage rate on my year end SLO test.

What is your favorite MC Feature?
I really enjoy the instant item analysis. Great time saver!

What is one thing you want students to take away when they leave your classroom at the end of the year?
Improved critical thinking skills.

What is your dream vacation?
All 30 MLB ballparks in one summer.

Anything else you want to add about yourself?
I work with an awesome team of instructional technology resoure teachers!


Beginning next week, you will have a new option for organizing and printing progress reports. You will  be able to print alphabetically by grade, making it easier to create, print, and distribute reports.

To organize and print alphabetically by grade within a school, simply select the checkbox on the Create Progress Report page as shown below.

For more information on creating Progress Reports, visit our Help Center article.


Last month we announced an exciting new feature—Teacher Item Authoring— and our partner educators are already loving the functionality. This feature gives teachers the tools to create over 50 item types, while building and sharing their own personal item banks. (Missed the announcement? Read it here.)

The launch of Teacher Item Authoring makes it the perfect time to hold professional development dedicated to implementing, improving, and expanding usage of item authoring in your school or district. Our PD experts have a variety of options to deliver hands-on instruction to ensure maximum effectiveness and best practices when creating and managing items.

Our Item Authoring PD Sessions are right for you if…

  • you recently implemented Teacher Item Authoring.
  • you could use support in creating your own district item bank.
  • you would like a more in-depth look at the specific functionalities within Item Authoring, including all the awesome technology-enhanced item types.
  • you feel confident creating items, but would like some guidance from an MC expert on creating quality assessments with your own item bank.

The best part about these interactive PD sessions is the one-on-one time you’ll get with an MC specialist to help you build your item bank.

Interested in scheduling a session? Please contact your Regional Education Consultant for more information—or fill out the form on this page and we’ll call you! And be sure to ask about our limited-time PD specials that are available now through December 21st.

Want Teacher Item Authoring?

If you’re a school and district administrator and you’re interested in activating Teacher Item Authoring, please contact your Regional Education Consultant for more info or call us at 801.736.0258.

Teachers, if you are interested in authoring your own items, let your in-house MasteryConnect administrator know!