Markeal King Flies High Above the Expectations

Ethan Rotnem, Editor-in-chief

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There is a lot more to Markeal King, a new paraprofessional here at Chamblee, than meets the eye.

He holds a relatively low-profile job. Most people around the school probably only know him by face, or more likely, by his height of 6 foot 8 inches.

“I’m an ISS coordinator, and, you know, basically, I help on the discipline side of things. So, anyone that gets in any type of trouble, they’ll go to Ms. Mosley and I help out Ms. Mosley in the discipline department,” said King.

A Miami native, King moved to Atlanta in his senior year of high school, where he attended and graduated from Westlake High School in west Atlanta. After this, he went on to attend Georgia State University downtown. Despite the cities being in bordering states, King noticed many differences between his hometown and his new residence.

“One thing that was really cool to me is that any time I went to a gas station, or any little store, on the north side of town or the south side of town, anytime you would buy something, someone would say ‘Appreciate it,’” said King. “I’ve been all around the world, all around the U.S., and never quite seen people do the same thing.”

King has not always worked in the disciplinary field, though.

“Right out of college, I played professional basketball overseas, so I played in Lebanon, China, Mexico, Uruguay, a lot of different countries, and so that was my first career,” said King.

Even after he stopped playing professionally, he kept up with the sport through coaching kids about the ins and outs of the sport. This coaching helped him realize that he wanted to work in schools.

“I always liked working with kids, and so, I kind of gravitated to the public school aspect of working with kids,” said King.

He continues playing basketball, even today. In fact, he even runs a nonprofit, Silver Lining Sports Academy, that teaches basketball skills to kids.

“[It’s] just staying involved with the kids, kids who have a passion for basketball, you know, trying to steer them in the right way and give them an opportunity to express themselves in the game they love,” said King.

He now lives happily in east Atlanta with his wife, Patricia, and his 3-year old son, Blake. He also has a daughter who lives in Houston. He is thrilled to be working at Chamblee this year.

“I found out that it was a charter school, a school of excellence, and just a good, overall, school that had a good academic program,” said King. “That made me intrigued about coming here.”