LIBERTY — The shadowy auditorium was quiet as a tribute video, compiled with kind words, memories and phrases from friends and co-workers, began to play as Marty Jacobs, principal of Liberty North High School since 2010 and decades longer at Liberty High, said his final goodbye Friday, May 31.
A incalculable number of lives have been impacted by Jacobs’ kindness, compassion and dedication, said dozens of community members attending a retirement party for Jacobs.
“If I had one word to describe Marty Jacobs, it would be depth,” said Superintendent Jeremy Tucker.
Tucker described Jacobs a deep thinker with a well of a heart, feeling and caring for those around him. Others described appreciation for Jacobs’ consistent attendance and encouragement to start the orchestra program early in his career.
In addition to well-wishes, Jacobs was also presented May 31 with several recognitions. The first came from Eagle Club, a booster group made up of parents and district staff. Eagle Club nominated him for the annual Missouri PTA’s Distinguished Service Award, which he won. Eagle Club also presented Jacobs with a memory quilt made from LNHS club T-shirts spanning an array of years.
Following Eagle Club, Kansas City Councilwoman Heather Hall presented Jacobs with a proclamation for the inspiration he provided to Kansas City families attending Liberty Public Schools.
“I am a parent who has had the blessing of Dr. Jacobs being the principal here while my kids went to school here,” she said. “The words I heard on the video were amazing. One word I think embodies him the most is humility. He is one of the most humble people I have ever met. His kindness, his intelligence and his generosity are all things we see every day. I just want to thank you.”
Following a performance of the Liberty High School Alma Mater, Tucker took to the stage for a surprise announcement.
“It is an honor and privilege to recognize a phenomenal man,” Tucker said. “Dr. Martin K. Jacobs has been an influential and vital part of the development and the success of the Fine Arts Department for Liberty Public Schools.”
During his tenure at Liberty High School, Jacobs was instrumental in ensuring students had a performance venue for theater productions and music events at the Liberty Community Center.
“He was responsible for spearheading the addition of a large group instruction room, now known as the Little Theater,” said Tucker. “... In an effort to show gratitude for his work, dedication and commitment to the fine arts programs across Liberty Public Schools, we would like to rename the Liberty North Performing Arts Theater the Martin K. Jacobs Performing Arts Theater.”
Afterward, tears were shed with tight embraces as teachers, students, parents and friends formed long lines for brief moments with Jacobs, bidding him farewell.