FIve Questions: Earl Martin
Q: What first drew you to the director of teaching and learning position in De Soto USD 232?
A: I am passionate about teaching and learning, and as a longtime resident of Johnson County, I am well aware of the great reputation of the De Soto school district, so what could be better than getting to be a part of teaching and learning in USD 232? I’m excited about getting to know the people here and being a part of the great tradition of excellence.
Q: You’ve been in the Olathe school district for more than 30 years. Was it a difficult decision to come to De Soto?
A: I had a good opportunity to retire from the Olathe school district, and I love the opportunities I’ve had in Olathe. But change helps us grow, so I look forward to opportunities to contribute to the good things happening in the De Soto school district.
Q: How will your background help in the position?
A: My professional experience has been fairly straight-forward, almost all of it in Olathe —as teacher, building principal, and district level director. From those different perspectives, I’ve learned a lot about teaching and learning, people and problem-solving. And I’ve learned over the years that the solutions to the problems we face can almost always be found by putting our heads together in a collaborative and professional way.
Q: What goals do you have the upcoming school year?
A: As a district leader, I feel that my role is to support what happens in the schools and in the classrooms — not the other way around — and to support effective teaching and learning. I don’t like being office-bound, so I hope to have lots of opportunities to be out in buildings to celebrate good things happening for kids and to help facilitate continuous improvement.
Q: Serving the community is important to you. How do you plan on becoming involved in the De Soto district?
A: It is true that I feel that it is important to give back to the community. But to be fair, I want to find out more about what opportunities might exist and what the best fit might be for me. I don’t like getting over-committed and I’ve got quite a bit going already in my church, my neighborhood, Olathe Area Youth Symphony and I’m a member of a Johnson County Barbershop Harmony group — so I would need to find the right niche.