Teaching couple succeeds in class, at life

Published 6:00 am Sunday, December 27, 2015

Working in education is stressful and so is raising a family, but between each other it can work.

Oxford High School Assistant Principal Marni Herrington and her husband, OHS Teacher Thomas Herrington, manage to raise a family and be educators.

“It’s not stressful, so to speak, it’s just more of a commitment,” Marni Herrington said.

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Prior to being an assistant principal, Marni Herrington taught for 11 years.

She taught AP Biology and Biology to Oxford students and served in coaching positions for the Lady Chargers.

He teaches English-Language Learner to seventh-grade through 12th-grade students at OHS as well as at Oxford Middle School.

They currently live in Oxford with their two children, Carter and Bryson.

The couple first met a decade ago in Sunday school class in church. Her mother, Beth Fitts, taught the class, and introduced them.

“I thought she was real nice but I rarely got to sit with her to get to know her. She was always early and I was perpetually late,” Thomas Herrington said.

He was teaching at Ole Miss at the time, but later moved to work at Mississippi College in Clinton after they started seeing each other and they dated long distance. Later, both of them applied in either city with the hopes they could work near each other. He was hired to work in the local school district and the rest is history.

10 years later

They were married on Dec. 16, 2006, and are going on their 10th year of marriage. Now, with two children, there is less spare time, but they still enjoy working together in school and at home.

“I don’t think that there are many disadvantages to it.  We get to bounce ideas off of each other and if we need help, we often go to each other right off the bat,” he said. “The greatest challenge is probably being tired getting home,” he said.

Even so, he said family has been a resource to them and living close to Fitts has been an advantage.

“It’s not stressful, so to speak, it’s just more of a commitment,” she said.

He first had the opportunity to begin teaching while in China. The experience made him want to learn how to hone the craft himself.

“I have always enjoyed learning and I think teaching is a natural outgrowth of a desire to learn,” Thomas Herrington said.

He said he often watches YouTube videos or takes classes to learn new skills and gain knowledge.

Marni Herrington earned her undergraduate degree in secondary education from Mississippi State University in 2002. She began teaching at OHS later that year. Later, she received her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Mississippi.

Thomas Herrington received his undergraduate degree in history from the University of Mississippi. He later attended the University of Southern Mississippi and the Peking University, where he studied Chinese.

Marni Herrington was recently named OSD Administrator of the Year.

“I am so thankful that God placed me in Oxford,” Marni Herrington said. “I feel so blessed to have been able to come home and work in the school system that I graduated from,” she said.