MONROE — The Monroe Public Schools board has selected a veteran district administrator to take office as superintendent July 1.
Barry Martin was given the nod last week.
He joined the Monroe district in 1986 as principal of the former Christiancy Elementary School. He held that post until 2000, when he became director of state and federal programs, a job that involves responsibility for more than $4 million in grant-funded programs, including almost $2 million for programs involving at-risk students.
As superintendent, he’ll have day-to-day responsibility for a school system with 6,200 students and eight buildings.
Mr. Martin said that, at age 62, he was looking for a professional change but did not want to leave the Monroe district, where he has varied responsibilities.
“I wear lots of different hats,” he said, including overseeing the district’s school improvement program. He also set up the virtual high school program, which enables high school students to earn diplomas online, the only one of its kind in Monroe County. It currently has 70 students, many of them teen parents who would not attend school otherwise.
Mr. Martin also heads Monroe schools’ anti-bullying efforts and directs the summer school program. He works closely with homeless families to get children enrolled and educated.
He succeeds Randy Monday, who is retiring after almost 40 years with the district, the last three as superintendent. Mr. Martin and the board have not yet negotiated a contract. Mr. Monday’s salary is $132,500.
The board vote to hire Mr. Martin was 5-2, with members Robert Yeo, Larry VanWasshenova, June Knabusch Taylor, Dr. Tedd March, and Ryan Philbeck supporting Mr. Martin.
The no votes were cast by Wendy Spicer and Aaron Mason, who emphasized that they did not disapprove of Mr. Martin, but simply preferred the other finalist, Scott Snyder, an administrator in the Ypsilanti Public Schools.
District spokesman Bobb Vergiels said board members were highly impressed with Mr. Martin’s performance over his long career.
“When you consider some of the district’s major accomplishments in recent years — starting up our virtual high school, developing a comprehensive anti-bullying policy which has been a model for others, leading our vigorous summer school program, reaching out and serving the education needs of the homeless, and developing and implementing a district-wide improvement plan, to name a few — the staff member who has led those efforts is Dr. Barry Martin. He is a quiet, gifted leader and one who is particularly good at pulling together the best team to address a situation,” Mr. Vergiels said.
Mr. Martin lives in West Toledo with his wife, Rebecca. He grew up in Bowling Green and graduated from high school there. He holds three degrees from Bowling Green State University: a bachelor’s in elementary education, a master’s in school administration, and a doctorate in educational administration.
Before joining the Monroe schools, he spent 11 years as a teacher and three as an assistant principal in the Washington Local Schools in Toledo.
As superintendent, he said he wants to continue the school improvement program, which has been in existence for three years.
“We’ve really invested in the districts school improvement process. We have a specific strategy and goals, and I want to move forward with that,” he said. “We’re making gains slowly, but they take time. We have a lot of unemployment and kids who don’t come to school as prepared as they should be — the same problems you find everywhere.”