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M-P names Garner as Homecoming Grand Marshal

John Garner - Kirk Boxleitner
John Garner
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

MARYSVILLE — “Public service” are the two words John Garner used to sum up his life.

With that outlook, it’s perhaps not surprising that Garner was chosen to serve as this year’s Marysville-Pilchuck High School Homecoming Grand Marshal Oct. 30.

Before serving as the city of Marysville administrator from 1984-1990 and a member of the Snohomish County Council from 1994-1997, Garner served 12 years as a high school principal in the Marysville School District. What makes Garner’s service to the school district especially unique is that he was principal of Marysville High School from 1970-1973, then of Pilchuck High school from 1974-1975, before serving as the first principal of Marysville-Pilchuck High School from 1976-1982.

Garner attributed his desire to mentor young people to the numerous mentors he’d benefitted from as a young person himself, from his father and his teachers to his coaches and his school principals.

“Quite a few people influenced me,” said Garner, a charter member of Marysville Rotary. “They helped me along, so I wanted to pay that back.”

Garner’s desire to do for others also motivated him to serve 22 years in the U.S. Navy, 20 on reserve duty, before he retired as a commander.

Garner’s experiences of working with county officials, while he was still the city administrator, gave him the confidence to run for County Council. Even before he’d completed the campaign trail, his demanding itinerary alone left him impressed with how busy elected officials are.

Garner expressed pride in co-chairing the 2006 levy and bond issue for the Marysville School District, the first to pass since 1990.

“It was a squeaker,” said Garner, noting the narrow margin by which it passed. He pointed out that the measure has since funded the construction of Grove Elementary and Marysville-Getchell High School.

Garner hopes that Marysville won’t forget that MHS and PHS used to be separate schools, before they became M-PHS. At the same time, he looks forward to the community’s future.

“Marysville’s headed in the right direction,” Garner said. “There’s nothing but good things ahead.”

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