Students honor retiring Mill Creek HS principal - FOX 13 News

Students honor retiring Mill Creek HS principal

Posted: Updated:
GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. -

A popular Gwinnett County principal and longtime educator is retiring, and his students thanked Dr. Jim Markham for his contributions.

Markham spent 22 years in the military, and more than 40 years in the classroom. He recently got a chance to see just how much his life's work has meant to others.

Markham is a fixture at Mill Creek High School. He's been Mill Creek's principal, a school that boasts the largest student body in the state, since it opened in 2004.

"I know most of these concrete blocks by name. I watched them all go in," said Markham.

"He's always been fair. When he makes his decision, he makes it and then we abide by it," said head football coach Shannon Jarvis.

Making decisions is not new to Markham. He's been in education for 44 years. But before becoming a teacher and administrator, he was in the US Army.  

"I did two tours of Vietnam and was blessed to survive it," said Markham.

He spent most of his career teaching and coaching football in public schools. He survived the end of corporal punishment in schools, the rise of cellphones, even a health scare that threatened to end it all -- an incurable cancer. It turns out that decision to join the US Army came back to haunt him.

"It's Multiple Myeloma Type D, which is directly related to Agent Orange exposure in Vietnam," said Markham.

Fifteen years after his diagnosis, Markham is still making all the decisions at Mill Creek. But the cancer has come back so he's decided to retire.

"It's pretty painful. It's going to be a very sad day," reflected Markham.

But a man with his history wasn't able to go quietly into the night. On a recent Friday night, during Mill Creek's home game, the student body made a decision Markham wasn't able to control.

"As of tonight, August 31st, 2012, the playing surface of Mill Creek Stadium will forever be known as Markham Field," said the announcer prior to the game.

For the first time, Markham, a man of many stories, was speechless.

Markham says he's looking forward to spending more time with his wife of more than 30 years, Ruth. An upcoming fundraiser, the Dr. Jim Markham Golf Classic , will raise money to benefit Relay for Life and cancer research. For more information, click here!

  • Good Day ArchiveMore>>

  • Back to School Jamboree with Hosea Feed The Hungry

    Back to School Jamboree with Hosea Feed The Hungry

    Hosea Feed the Hungry will host their annual Back to School Jamboree on Sunday, July 13, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at Turner Field. Children will receive a backpack filled with school supplies.

    Hosea Feed the Hungry will host their annual Back to School Jamboree on Sunday, July 13, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at Turner Field. Children will receive a backpack filled with school supplies.

  • Support for DeKalb's oldest living retired firefighter

    Support for DeKalb's oldest living retired firefighter

    Thursday, July 24 2014 7:53 AM EDT2014-07-24 11:53:29 GMT
    Douglas Marks was a DeKalb County firefighter for 25 years...saving lives and protecting homes. Now, at age 82, Marks needs a little help himself. And his fellow firefighters...are stepping up.
    Douglas Marks was a DeKalb County firefighter for 25 years...saving lives and protecting homes. Now, at age 82, Marks needs a little help himself. And his fellow firefighters...are stepping up.
  • FOX Medical Team

    Easy 'fat burning' recipes

    Easy 'fat burning' recipes

    Thursday, July 24 2014 7:40 AM EDT2014-07-24 11:40:05 GMT
    Here are the recipes from Nancy Waldeck of the Cancer Wellness Center of Piedmont Hospital.
    Here are the recipes from Nancy Waldeck of the Cancer Wellness Center of Piedmont Hospital.
Powered by WorldNow

FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
3213 West Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, Florida 33609
Main: (813) 876-1313
Newsroom: (813) 870-9630
Fax: (813) 871-3135

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices