Champion of the Month

Jim McKinney Share

Oct 1, 2016  |  Layla Price-Bodkin

Jim McK­in­ney, orig­i­nal­ly from Piqua, Ohio, has been a res­i­dent of Mar­i­on for 53 years. After fin­ish­ing his col­lege edu­ca­tion, and meet­ing his future wife at Man­ches­ter Col­lege, he locat­ed to Mar­i­on in search of a well-pay­ing teach­ing job. The moment he was accept­ed into the Mar­i­on Com­mu­ni­ty School sys­tem, he made a com­mit­ment to serve the Mar­i­on com­mu­ni­ty and not just pass through. Since 1965, he has served in mul­ti­ple lead­er­ship posi­tions with­in Mar­i­on Com­mu­ni­ty Schools, and has even led a large con­sor­tium rep­re­sent­ing mul­ti­ple high schools to improve aca­d­e­mics. Jim also served on the col­le­giate lev­el as an adjunct pro­fes­sor for Indi­ana Wes­leyan University.

When Jim offi­cial­ly retired from the field of edu­ca­tion, his com­mu­ni­ty ser­vant lead­er­ship lives on, stem­ming from his pas­sion for avi­a­tion. Jim has been vol­un­teer­ing as pres­i­dent of the Mar­i­on Munic­i­pal Air­port Board for the past 35 years. He has devot­ed his days in build­ing the air­port from what was a corn­field into the best air­port in Indi­ana. Through grant-writ­ing and build­ing rela­tion­ships, he has achieved over $20 mil­lion for the airport’s growth and sus­tain­abil­i­ty. He has even been cham­pi­oning for voca­tion­al pro­gram­ming in avi­a­tion through Mar­i­on Com­mu­ni­ty Schools, and as a result, the first class in avi­a­tion is already being taught. 

When Jim was asked why it’s impor­tant to be a cham­pi­on for your com­mu­ni­ty, he said, You can’t crit­i­cize unless you are active­ly involved. You need to, first, have the will to say that you want to make a dif­fer­ence. I spread the good news of Mar­i­on when­ev­er I get a chance. I see beau­ty and poten­tial in Mar­i­on, and I want to be a part of those who are doing great things.”

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