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Marshall School

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Marshall School

Marshall School
Preparation. For College. For Life.
1215 Rice Lake Road
Duluth, Minnesota, (St. Louis County), 55811
 United States
Type Private, Independent
Established 1904
Head of school Kevin Breen
Chaplain Dr. Lon Weaver, chaplain & Chico Anderson, chaplain emeritus
Faculty 44
Grades 4-12
Enrollment 446 (2014)
Average class size 18
Student to teacher ratio 12:1
Campus type 40 acres
Color(s) Black and Gold         
Fight song Notre Dame Victory March
Athletics Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL)
Athletics conference Lake Superior Conference
Nickname Hilltoppers
Accreditation ISACS Accredited[1]
Average SAT scores 1654
Average ACT scores 27
Publication The Hilltopper
Newspaper The Marshall Times
Yearbook The Beacon
Alumni 7,000

Marshall School is an independent, coeducational, college-preparatory day school in Duluth, Minnesota for students in grades 4 through 12. Students of diverse socioeconomic, religious, ethnic and racial backgrounds from a variety of geographic areas attend the school.

Marshall School is sometimes referred to as Duluth Marshall at Minnesota State High School League athletic tournaments.


  • Mission 1
  • History 2
    • Cathedral Senior High School 2.1
    • Marshall School 2.2
  • Campus 3
  • Academics 4
    • Admissions 4.1
    • Upper School 4.2
      • Community Service Learning Program 4.2.1
    • Middle School 4.3
      • Grades 4, 5, and 6 4.3.1
      • Grades 7 and 8 4.3.2
    • Faculty 4.4
  • Activities 5
  • Athletics 6
    • Upper School Athletics 6.1
    • Middle School Athletics 6.2
    • Boys' Hockey 6.3
    • Girls' Hockey 6.4
    • Dance—Jazz Division 6.5
    • MSHSL State Tournament Appearances 6.6
  • Notable alumni 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


The mission of Marshall School is to educate students to become global citizens who demonstrate strong academic habits, respect, compassion, integrity, self-discipline, and intellectual curiosity.

A rainbow bends over the Marshall School Campus in Duluth, Minnesota.


Cathedral Senior High School

The building on Fourth Street and Second Avenue West that housed Duluth Cathedral until 1963. The building now houses the Damiano Center.[2]

Founded in 1904 by the Catholic Diocese of Duluth, Duluth Cathedral was originally a high school for boys. In 1910, the diocese added girls, but it wasn't until 1942 that the school was fully coeducational. [3]

In 1963, the school moved to the newly constructed campus on Rice Lake Road, where it remains to this day.

Marshall School

When the Catholic Diocese of Duluth could no longer afford to sustain the Cathedral in 1971, a group of civic and religious leaders who believed that a high-quality, college-preparatory education was essential to the future of northern Minnesota assumed governance of Cathedral Senior High School in 1972. This is considered the founding of Marshall School because of its newly established status as an independent, all-faith school. However, the school remained named Cathedral High School until 1987.

In 1987, the school’s name was changed to Marshall School to highlight its independent status and to honor the Albert Morley Marshall family, whose vision and resources over three generations enhanced the quality of education and life in Duluth.

Marshall School officially purchased the 35-acre campus from the Diocese of Duluth in 1995 for $1.1 million.

Over the years, Marshall School has expanded from a high school serving grades 9-12 to a middle school and high school serving grades 4-12. Grades 7 and 8 were added in 1981 and grades 5 and 6 in 1993, when the school reorganized into separate middle schools and high schools. Fourth grade was eventually added in 2011.

Marshall is the only independent school in northern Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin. Students from 20 school districts and a wide geographic area attend Marshall. In recent years, an increasing number of out-of-state and international students have attended Marshall and lived with local families. [4]


The campus is on a 40-acre hillside overlooking Lake Superior and downtown Duluth and includes academic and technology centers, athletic fields and facilities, and fine arts and performance areas.[5]



Applying to Marshall School involves a few simple steps. Each component of the admissions process is designed to assess the fit between school and student. The student essay, academic work, campus visit, and personal interviews as well as the admissions test all provide important information for the family and Marshall School in helping to determine the enrollment decision.

The Admissions office does not select students solely on the basis of academic strength. A willingness to prioritize academics, the desire to be a person of character, and a desire to be a part of the Marshall School community are essential qualities for a positive admission decision. [6]

On average, 40% of students at Marshall receive need-based financial aid, which may cover up to 70% of tuition.

Upper School

Marshall’s Upper School experience presents a balance between academic challenge, co-curricular opportunity, achievement-oriented student culture, and a rich community of faculty and peers. Students are encouraged to be confident and independent thinkers by teachers whose energy and caring enrich the school. Small class sizes permit active participation, feedback, and engagement in a rigorous curriculum. Teachers and curriculum are flexible, setting challenging but attainable goals for each individual, and the exploration of unique interests and talents is encouraged.

Fine arts opportunities include concert choir, chamber choir, concert band, jazz band, concert orchestra strings ensemble, and drama program.

Unique to Marshall School is College Counseling, which beings in 9th grade. The counselor meets individually and in small groups with students, provides guidance about college visits, application process, scholarships, and need-based financial aid.

Nearly 70% of seniors sit for AP exams, with nearly 70% scoring a 3 or higher.

Upon graduation from Marshall, 98% of students attend four-year colleges.

Community Service Learning Program

Students in grades nine through twelve are required to complete a minimum of ten hours of community service each year, with a total of forty hours required for graduation.

Marshall’s Community Service Learning Program is an integral part of character and leadership development. It begins in the middle school with class projects in the local community and continues in the upper school as students volunteer at local soup kitchens, nursing homes, centers for children in low-income neighborhoods, and city-wide clean-up projects. The goal of the Service Learning Program is to instill a sense of social responsibility and to introduce the lifetime rewards of giving back to the community in which Marshall students live.

Middle School

Marshall’s Middle School lays the foundation for developing and nurturing Marshall's core values: strong academic habits, respect, compassion, integrity, self-discipline and intellectual curiosity. Early on, students are encouraged to be confident and independent thinkers by teachers whose energy and caring enrich the school. Small class sizes permit active participation, feedback, and engagement in a rigorous curriculum. Teachers and curriculum are flexible, setting challenging but attainable goals for each individual learner, and the exploration of unique interests and talents is encouraged. [7]

Marshall School's middle school serves students in grades 4 through 8. Core sections are capped at 20 students in 4th grade and capped at 22 students from 5th through 8th grade.

Grades 4, 5, and 6

Following an eight period schedule, students in grades 4-6 are able to take a range of diverse classes including music ensembles, daily foreign language courses, and daily physical education. Twice a week, students participate in an integrated music and arts curriculum. Choir starts in 4th grade, orchestra starts in 5th grade, and band starts in 6th grade. Marshall offers three different foreign languages: Spanish, French, and German. Younger students focus on a different language each year. Marshall students study Spanish in 4th grade, French in 5th grade, and German in 6th grade. Students specialize in a foreign language in 7th and 8th grade.

Grades 7 and 8

Competitive athletics begin in 7th grade. Middle school students have the option of 16 fall, winter, and spring sports to choose from. Students choose from French, German, or Spanish to begin advanced foreign language study.


Marshall School has a student to faculty ratio of 12:1. Of the 44 faculty members, 19 hold advanced degrees and 4 hold doctorates.


Marshall School offers 30 Upper School activities and 14 Middle School activities. Marshall's organizations reach out to the local community, providing students with the opportunity to interact off-campus and grow outside the classroom. Most notably is the Marshall Robotics teams, which brings in mentors from Cirrus Aircraft.

7th-12th graders are required to participate in at least one co-curricular activity and are strongly encouraged to participate in more than one activity. Students may select their activities from an approved list of activities for their respective divisions. Activities that have been approved exemplify the following characteristics: they include sanctioned organized competition (ex. athletics, Math League, Music Listening, Knowledge Bowl); or they meet for a minimum of 20 times annually or the equivalent of 20 hours; and students do not receive a grade for participation nor is it part of a class requirement.

Participation in an on-campus approved co-curricular activity is encouraged for all students, but the school recognizes that students often have commitments to other off campus activities. Students who commit a significant amount of time to an activity outside of Marshall may apply for a waiver.

Students must actively and regularly attend meetings, practices, or competitions in order to fulfill the requirement. Advisors of the co-curricular activities will confirm participation at the end of each semester.

A diverse activities list offers students the opportunity to explore specific interests and hone their passions and skills.

Upper School Middle School
Bio-Med Club Jazz Band Art Club
Captain's Council Junior Rotarians Cribbage Club
Chamber Singers Knowledge Bowl Destination Imagination
Chamber Strings Leadership Forum Knowledge Bowl
Chapel Cohort Math League Lego Robotics
Cosmos Club Music Listening Contest Math Counts
Cribbage Club National Art Honor Society Math Olympiads (5th & 6th grade)
Drama Club National Honor Society National Geographic Geography Bee
FRC Robotics Online Student Magazine Robotics Club
Friends of the Blood Drive Prayer Group Settlers of Catan Club
Gay Straight Alliance Science National Honor Society Spelling Bee
Globe Club Spanish Club Student Council
Greens Club Speech Topper Nights Committee
Head's Council Student Council Tutoring/ Homework Help
Honor Code Committee Yearbook


Marshall School supports 19 athletic teams that compete in the Lake Superior Conference, Section 7A, and the Minnesota State High School League. Most Marshall School athletic teams compete in MSHSL Class A level. Boy's hockey will move up to the larger Class AA level for the 2015-2016 season. [8] On average, more than 90% of students participate in varsity and junior varsity sports. Starting in seventh grade, middle school students can join athletics. Marshall School offers 16 athletic teams to students in seventh and eighth grade.

Upper School Athletics

Fall Sports Winter Sports Spring Sports
Football Boys Hockey Baseball
Boys Soccer Girls Hockey Softball
Girls Soccer Girls Basketball Golf
Volleyball Boys Basketball Boys Tennis
Cross Country Running Danceline Track & Field
Girls Tennis Boys Swimming
Alpine Skiing
Nordic Skiing

Middle School Athletics

Fall Sports Winter Sports Spring Sports
Football Girls Basketball Baseball
Boys Soccer Boys Basketball Softball
Girls Soccer Alpine Skiing Golf
Volleyball Nordic Skiing Boys Tennis
Cross Country Running Danceline Track & Field
Girls Tennis

Boys' Hockey

The Boys' hockey team is coached by Brendan Flaherty, who graduated from Duluth Cathedral in 1982. Coach Flaherty is a three time Section Coach of the Year. He has won four Conference Championships, eight Section Championships, is a three time State Championship finalist, and has placed third in a State Championship. He has coached nine Division I players and nineteen Division III players, among them Jack Connolly, UMD, Hobey Baker recipient 2012. The Hilltoppers have appeared in seven state tournaments, and most recently finished fifth in the state tournament (2013).[9]

In December 2014, Marshall School announced the team would be moving to Class AA beginning in the 2015-2016 season, the larger of the two classes. [10]

Girls' Hockey

Marshall School's Girls' Hockey team had their inaugural season in 2014-2015, playing with just a junior varsity team.[11] In January 2015, Marshall School announced the team would also have a varsity squad for the following 2015-2016 season. [12]

Dance—Jazz Division

With six Class A Jazz state championship titles, Marshall School Dance Team is the most winning team since jazz was added to the MSHSL in 1997.[13]The dance team experienced a five-year win streak from 2006-2011 before winning again in 2015.

MSHSL State Tournament Appearances

State Appearances
Season Sport Number of Appearances Year
Fall Soccer, Boys 3 1998 (2nd), 2006, 2007 (1st) 2012(3rd)
Winter Hockey, Boys 12 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 2001, 2005 (3rd), 2006 (2nd), 2007 (2nd), 2008 (2nd), 2012, 2013
Basketball, Boys 1 2002
Dance team 8 2005 (3rd), 2006 (2nd), 2007 (1st), 2008 (1st), 2009 (1st), 2010 (1st), 2011 (1st), 2014(2nd), 2015 (1st - Jazz)
Spring Golf, Boys 2 2003, 2004 (1st)
Tennis, Boys 2 2006, 2008
Golf, Girls 4 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007
Total 25

Notable alumni


  1. ^ ISACS Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
  2. ^ Dierckins, Tony. "May Feature: Duluth’s Repurposed Public Buildings". Zenith City Online. Zenith City Press. Retrieved 19 May 2015. 
  3. ^ Beth, Krodel. "HOME SWEET HILLTOP MARSHALL TAKES CONTROL OF OWN DESTINY". Newsbank. Duluth News Tribune. Retrieved 19 May 2015. 
  4. ^ "History". Retrieved 2015-03-30. 
  5. ^ ISACS Member School Information [4]
  6. ^ "Admissions". Marshall School. Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
  7. ^ Marshall, School. "Middle School". Marshall School. Retrieved 2 April 2015. 
  8. ^ MSHSL Member School Information [5]
  9. ^ Marshall, School. Retrieved 2 April 2015. 
  10. ^ Sports, Eyewitness. WDIO Retrieved 1 April 2015. 
  11. ^ KBGR, News 1. KBGR Retrieved 1 April 2015. 
  12. ^ "Varsity Girls' Hockey for Duluth Marshall in 2015-16". WDIO. Retrieved 2 April 2015. 
  13. ^ KBJR, News 1. "Marshall Divas Back on Top of Dance World". KBJR News. KBJR News 1. Retrieved 8 April 2015. 

External links

  • [6]

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