Linfield Christian School took a leap forward towards achieving its goal of “relentlessly pursuing excellence in Christ-centered college preparatory education” as the Board of Trustees has announced the appointment of longtime Temecula Valley education expert and leader, Marc Horton, to serve as the new Head of School.
Horton comes to Linfield from the Temecula Valley Unified School District, where he currently serves as Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment. However, many Temecula residents will best remember him as the former principal of Great Oak High School, a remarkably successful tenure that was marked by his collaborative and engaging leadership style. While Horton was principal, Great Oak grew tremendously and maintained its status as the highest performing high school in Riverside County, receiving top marks from U.S. News & World Report’s national rankings. The school also saw an increasing number of students successfully outperforming state and world averages in its Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate programs. In fact, Marc was singled out in a list of over five hundred principals as Riverside County’s Principal of the Year in 2016.
Linfield’s Board of Trustees Chair, Terri Delhamer, remarked that it was this collaborative style, visionary leadership, and innovative record that drew them to Horton and cinched the decision. Horton, whose resume includes measurable success as a teacher, elementary principal, high school principal, and district administrator, said he was “honored” to be chosen for the position, and he is excited about the possibilities that lie ahead for Linfield’s students and families.
He said, “We must have students who graduate, not only prepared for the best colleges and universities (something which Linfield has done extremely well over the years), but also prepared to be successful in life, in their chosen careers and in impacting the world.” Horton added, “Relationships are the cornerstone of amazing organizations. Throughout my life there have been significant individuals who have shaped my path as a leader. In turn, I want to create an environment in which each student and adult on our campus benefits from someone who impacts them in a meaningful way.” He noted that the secret of his success has always been his relationship with the Lord: “I can’t tell you how excited I am to bring together my faith and professional aspirations in an effort to glorify God at Linfield Christian School.”
He recognizes that some people might wonder why he would leave his current career in public education to take on a new challenge at Linfield: “We see Linfield and its commitment to pursuing excellence in Christian education, and we know we have been called to be a part of that and to help work toward that goal. I’m also looking forward to serving at a place in which everything important in life comes together – faith, community, and education.”
Horton said the first time he and his wife walked onto Linfield’s picturesque 105-acre campus he was impressed by the spiritual vitality and strong sense of community: “We had never been on this campus and could hardly believe a school like this existed in Temecula – it is truly a best kept secret. It was a distinct moment when I felt a need to change direction in life and in my career and partner with the Linfield family, and we could tell it was a very special place right away.”
He continued, “Linfield Christian School has a great reputation for academic excellence in the community, and it has a strong desire to be a model in Christian education, which is very exciting. The school and community have been through a very tough time with the loss of their prior Head of School, Drake Charles.”
Horton begins his tenure on May 1st. He and his wife, Christie, a kindergarten teacher, have two daughters they’ve raised in Temecula; one is a freshman in high school, and one is a freshman at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.