The Elkin school board has initiated the search for a new superintendent following the announcement by Dr. Randy Bledsoe that he will be retiring at the end of June. In the interim, the school board plans to appoint Dr. Don Martin to serve as superintendent effective July 1, with the appointment planned to be made official at the June 27 meeting of the board.
In a press release Thursday, the school board noted that “Martin will serve on an interim basis pending the selection of a permanent superintendent.”
The vacancy announcement was listed on May 20 and will run until the July 15 closing date, reported school board Chairman Dr. Richard Brinegar at Monday’s Elkin City Schools Board of Education meeting. That listing is posted in several places including at 13 colleges in the state, with the North Carolina School Board Association and the North Carolina Association of School Administrators.
“We want to invite as many applicants as we can,” Brinegar said.
After July 15, the school board plans to get as much input as it can from the school community and the Elkin community as a whole on what they would like in a new superintendent, he reported.
“We will be putting a survey online places to get comments on what’s important to you as a superintendent,” Brinegar told those in attendance Monday. “The second thing, we will schedule a time at each school, and stay after to get input from the employees and administrators. We invite their questions and comments and what’s important to you.”
The third effort by the school board will be scheduling some type of public forum or town hall format meeting. “We want to get as many people as possible to get as many comments and input as we can,” Brinegar continued.
As of Monday afternoon, nine requests for applications had been submitted for the superintendent position. Brinegar said the school board wants as many applications as it can, because “we want to get someone special.”
“We would like to have someone on the job no later than Jan. 1,” he added. “We encourage each of you to help us to make a great decision.”
Martin has superintendent experience
“Martin has 33 years of experience as a public schools superintendent, most notably as superintendent of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools from 1994 until his retirement in June 2013,” according to background provided in the press release.
At present, Martin is serving as interim superintendent of Mount Airy City Schools while that system proceeds with its own superintendent search.
Martin, while being familiar with running a large school system, also knows small systems, having served as superintendent for the smallest school district in Kentucky from 1980 to 1983. Following his time at Southgate Independent Schools, he was superintendent of the Jessamine County school district, also in Kentucky, until 1989.
His move to North Carolina came in 1989 when he took the role of superintendent of the newly merged Rowan-Salisbury Schools in Rowan County.
In addition to teaching and administrative roles in public and post-secondary school levels, the past three years Martin, who holds a bachelor’s degree in physics and master’s degree in math education from Duke University and a doctorate from the University of Kentucky, has served as professor of educational leadership at High Point University, where he prepares administrators to be effective public school superintendents. In 2014, Martin was elected to the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners.
Martin and his wife, Rita, reside in Tobaccoville. The couple has three children and three grandchildren.
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.