Your Neighbor: Meet Kristin Marion

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 16, 2021

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By Mandy Haggerson
For the Clemmons Courier

Kristin Marion was raised in a community that she loved from as early as she could remember. “We moved to Clemmons when I was one year old,” says Marion. “I was active at Clemmons Methodist Church, sports like tennis and swim team, and even enjoyed coaching 6 and under kids at Brookwood Pool.” Marion observed from an early age as well the impact teachers and coaches had in the community. “My mom was an elementary teacher and the kids absolutely adored her. When we would be out and about, and whenever they would see her, it was almost like a celebrity sighting for the students. I knew I wanted to impact and influence children like my mom was in the classroom. I loved going in her classroom and visiting with them and seeing how she made a difference,” remembers Marion.

After Marion graduated from West Forsyth High School, she headed to Elon University to get her degree in education. “I never hesitated with knowing what I planned to do with my degree. I knew that I wanted to go back to Clemmons and teach when I was done,” explains Marion. Another passion was ignited Marion’s junior year at Elon. “I had always loved animals. However, my junior year I came across a 10-week-old golden retriever puppy that needed to be rescued. I felt compelled to help him, and I saved him. I named him Duncan because my whole family and I are the biggest Wake Forest fans,” mentions Marion. “I was the first ball girl at the men’s basketball games. The name was the perfect fit for him. For 12 years, that amazing dog was with me for some major milestones in my life.”

Marion’s major milestones that were accompanied by Duncan included graduating from Elon and moving back to Clemmons as she had intended to do. “Ward Elementary School had just been built. I interviewed to be a teacher with them as they opened their doors and was hired. It’s been 22 years now working at Ward. I’ve loved it so much. I am a kindergarten teacher and I value the relationships that I have built with the students, many of them that are now adults themselves. Like my mom, I believe every child deserves to have someone who believes in them,” reflects Marion.

Marion believes that helping outside of the classroom is important too. “After Duncan passed away, I wanted to honor his memory by helping other animals in need. After loving and losing Duncan, I knew that I wanted other dogs to have the opportunity to get the family and love that they deserved. I began volunteering at Forsyth County Animal Control for about 10 years. Volunteering is my passion. Walking dogs, making their kennels comfortable with clean blankets and fresh water, arranging meet and greets with potential adopters is something that I looked forward to on a regular basis,” notes Marion. She also began helping serve on the board of directors for another dog rescue that helped pull dogs from the local shelter. Currently Marion has three dogs, Skip, Annie and Daisy that are all beagles that she had planned to foster and find homes for. The right homes for Skip, Annie and Daisy were right with Marion and never left. “Skip is my soul dog, my black-and-white senior beagle. Annie was an old, discarded mama dog found on the streets in Winston-Salem. She was heartworm positive when I rescued her, which is very painful and expensive to treat. Frustratingly it is very preventable with monthly prevention. I had never fostered a senior before and she stole my heart in 2½ seconds,” says Marion.

Marion’s experiences and personal stories from being a foster and volunteer allow her to continue to advocate, support, and encourage rescuing in the community. “Animal rescue will always be near and dear to my heart,” says Marion. She also has found great meaning and appreciation as she serves on the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Winston-Salem. “We do some pretty awesome stuff here in our community that I’m proud of,” notes Marion.

When Marion isn’t teaching kindergartners or participating in philanthropy she can be found at Roger Marion’s Car Shop in Clemmons. “My dad is 75 and still works 12-hour days and I like helping him keep his books. Since he is so committed to his job and his customers, that’s a way I can go and spend time with him and do something that he is passionate about. I am lucky that I have parents that I am so close with and that we really enjoy spending time together. My brothers work at my dad’s shop too, so I get to spend time with them there as well,” says Marion. “Family is my everything.”