Alumni Profiles is an ongoing series highlighting successful graduates who, with a SUNY education, achieved interesting and influential careers.
Dr. Edward S. Marschilok is a community member, policymaker, and musician. Now known among his peers as “Dr. Music Ed”, he earned his Bachelor of Music Education degree from SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music in 1974 and continued his education at Syracuse University. He earned his Ph.D. in educational administration and policy studies in 1993 at the University at Albany before becoming a music instructor at various New York Schools.
Dr. Marschilok spent the majority of his professional career as a curriculum specialist for the New York State Education Department, where he coordinated the development and implementation of New York State Learning Standards for the Arts and managed the development of the Department’s Virtual Learning System for 21 years.
Later at the Department of Education, Dr. Marschilok’s influence grew to reach millions of students as he was chosen to lead the Department’s team of curriculum specialists in English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Arts, Physical Education, School Library and Reading.
On top of his professional accomplishments, Marschilok has continued to perform at a high level as an active musician playing with the Albany Symphony Orchestra, the Capitol Region Wind Ensemble, the Adirondack Winds and the Glimmerglass Opera. He is a volunteer for the Empire State Youth Orchestra, the Concerted Effort Arts in Education Organization, Sacred Heart Church and the Troy German Hall Association. In recognition of his advocacy for arts education, Marschilok has been honored with awards from the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA), as well as the New York State Theatre Education Association and the Music Educators Association of New York City.
In service to his alma mater, Marschilok has served as a member of the SUNY Potsdam College Council. He has been a loyal annual donor to the Annual Fund for Potsdam for decades (The Annual Fund for Potsdam is one of the strategic priorities of Take the Lead: The Campaign for Potsdam). He spoke at the 2013 SUNY Potsdam Graduate Commencement in May.
1. Where did your passion for music and education begin?
My parents were both fine amateur musicians so there was a lot of music making in my family. The Troy Public School system provided great opportunities for music education in my K-12 program and by graduation time I aspired to be a high school music teacher.
2. Why did you choose SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music?
Great people; great program. The Crane School of Music has had a long and distinguished history of music teacher preparation and the SUNY Potsdam campus seemed like the right fit for me.
3. You chose to stay in New York State to complete your graduate and doctoral degree, and ultimately to live, work, and play. Why New York?
New York is a state with great opportunities. It has strong K-12 schools and fine higher education institutions both public and private. It has provided me wonderful professional opportunities as an educator, administrator and musician. It is also a great place to live.
4. What was a typical day like for you as supervisor of the New York State Department of Education’s Curriculum, Instruction and Instructional Technology Team?
There was no typical day. The work focused primarily on implementing the agenda of the Board of Regents. It included providing technical assistance to K-12 educators and parents, developing curriculum and instructional resources (mostly online), and coaching and managing a team of curriculum specialists.
5. What does it mean for you to have the honor to speak at the 2013 SUNY Potsdam Master’s Commencement Ceremony and be presented with an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree?
I am deeply honored to be recognized by my undergraduate institution for my professional work to the field of education in New York State.
6. What advice do you have to share with SUNY students?
Strive for excellence and high levels of achievement in your preparation programs. Work to make a significant difference in your professional practice. Support the people who work in governmental agencies and the agencies themselves (e.g., K-12 public schools and colleges/universities). Consider a career in public service.