Editor’s Note: This is the fifth of a series of stories Kentucky Teacher is running about new superintendents for the 2020-2021 school year.
By Sky Carroll
From a young age, Mark Martin admired the impact his family – the majority of whom are educators – and his teachers had on him and his fellow classmates. Martin now hopes to continue positively impacting students as the new superintendent for Meade County Schools.
Martin grew up in Beaver Dam in Ohio County and calls himself a third generation Kentucky educator. With his uncle as his elementary school principal and his aunt and father as teachers there, Martin comes from a long line of educators.
“I grew up around school. That was always the conversation at our Christmas dinner,” Martin said. “My family truly loves to serve other and serve kids.”
Including himself, 12 of his family members serve as teachers or administrators in Kentucky schools.
“We’re a very blue-collar family. You’re either a coal miner, mechanic or an educator like most of us,” Martin said. “I’ve known I wanted to be an educator since I was 5 years old.”
Martin attended Western Kentucky University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in special education, his administrative certificates in career and technical education (CTE) instructional supervisor and special education director, and his doctorate.
In 2008, he began working as an elementary special education teacher in Daviess County Public Schools, where he also coached the academic team. Down the road from the elementary school, he was an assistant football coach for Apollo High School.
“I really believe it’s important to have kids engaged on all levels,” Martin said. “I think kids will be most successful if they’re engaged in academics, but also have a variety of opportunities for extracurriculars and athletics.”
In 2014, Martin came to Meade County High School where he served as a district administrator and has worked in multiple departments, including special education and pupil personnel. He’s been serving as Meade County’s superintendent since July 1.
Martin says he owes much of his passion for education to his family, for they’ve been mentors to him. Now, he sees education as “part of him.”
“I’ve always had great mentors that were humble servant leaders,” he said. “I think having that exposure and mentoring has been part of growth and journey.”
When he’s not working, Martin enjoys spending time with his family, including his wife, Rachael, and their three children. Martin said he likes to be around people and experience new things with his family.
As for this school year, Martin is excited to work with a team of people able to positively impact and support students.
“It’s about developing that family atmosphere and that team culture where we’re all here to serve kids and serve people,” he said.