Teacher Feature: Marli Gilmore


Marli Gilmore knew Edmond Public Schools was where she wanted to start her teaching career, however transitioning to her role as School Counselor at Heritage Elementary School came about unexpectedly. Marli is a proud product of Oklahoma’s public education system. Northern Hills, Cross Timbers, Sequoyah, and Edmond North all played a role in shaping this community standout. “I loved growing up in Edmond because all of my friends were here. Those friends from my childhood are still my best friends today. I never thought I would come back to Edmond, but as I got older I realized that it's a great place to have a family of my own.”

Marli went on to complete her undergraduate degree in Elementary Education at The University of Oklahoma. She knew right away that she wanted to give back to the Edmond Public School System and contacted Principal Cathey Bugg, “I knew right away that I wanted to come back to EPS. I emailed Cathey Bugg while still at OU to ask for advice. She was so generous to allow me to complete my student teaching at Cross Timbers. EPS is the best district around!”. Marli began teaching 3rd grade at her alma mater Cross Timbers and loved being in the classroom but felt called to serve students and grow herself in another way.

It was Principal Bugg again who encouraged Marli to consider counseling as a leadership and growth opportunity for her both professionally and personally. Marli also got to see her good friend, a guidance counselor serving children and local families, educating, leading and loving her role and she felt inspired to look into it. She was teaching third grade when she enrolled in the master’s program at University of Central Oklahoma for school counseling. Upon completing her master’s degree, Marli found her current role at a brand new elementary school in North Edmond: Heritage Elementary.

Heritage Elementary is wrapping up its 2nd year of operation under the leadership of Principal Cathey Bugg. “Bugg has been with the Edmond district for 26 years. For 18 years she served as the principal at Cross Timbers Elementary. She also has experience as a teacher, and assistant principal. Bugg is a proven leader who loves children and respects and supports teachers.” – Heritage Website. What an amazing example of how an administrator like Principal Bugg can inspire students to grow, develop into leaders and return to enrich the lives of students. It says a lot about a school system and administration when students become faculty.

For Marli, becoming an elementary school counselor is a dream come true, but not without its challenges. “The most challenging thing is wanting to personally provide for the students and families that need support. There are many resources that are available to families, but it tears at my heart strings because I want to provide them the world.” she says. On the other side of that coin is when a student and their family are able to have their needs met. “The students know they can come to my office if they need anything, and same goes to parents. Each day I get to help serve people with resources, advice, guidance, or just a hug when needed.”

“I love this community, because everyone supports one another. A perfect example is when the family from Heritage lost their home to a fire this year, people from all over

Edmond came to their rescue. So many items were donated to help that family, and many of the people donating did not know them but are from this community. Edmond is like one big happy family!”. The strength of this community is what drew Marli back home. It is what motivates her to give back and thanks to her many students and families are stronger in Edmond.

Bethany Schwarz