A Final Q/A with Principal Martin

Chiara Bettelli Oukka, Staff Writer

 

  • Summarize your experience at Liberty? 

 

I first came to Liberty, as an assistant principal, in 2011. I remained assistant principal for five years and then transitioned to the principal position (which I have remained in for 6 years). It’s been a wonderful experience for a lot of reasons. The biggest reason is definitely seeing the development of the school. Although, as a school grows the difficult task of keeping the same integrity and school culture arises. However, I would say it’s been a huge success story; we’ve been able to maintain the same kind of school culture we had as a smaller school- a very special, unique, and also very intentional-something that our staff works really hard at. 

 

  • Some memorable moments or experiences from your time at Liberty?  

 

Something very memorable to me is the way that Liberty comes together when they face challenges. We have always supported each other during hard times, whether it’s COVID or losing people we cared about. During such pressure, it would be easy to turn against one another and indulge in conflict but our school has always been able to rise above that. At the end of the day, even when things are hard, we have come out the other end of it.

 

  • What from Liberty will you carry onto your future jobs?  

           As I move forward, I will think about the things I’ve learned from observing teachers. I’ve been able to sit for lessons and see what happens, I’ve been exposed to all facets of teaching and I’ve been able to broaden my understanding of what really great teaching is. Therefore, I am definitely taking the culture and the knowledge of this Liberty community.

 

  • What do you plan to do after Liberty? 

My plan after Liberty is to go back to teaching. At this point in my admin career, most of my friends and colleagues have gone to the school district offices to work on curriculum and budgets. While that would be the natural progression, that’s not why I got into education in the first place. I’ve seen enough from so many great teachers that I want to take another shot at teaching. Another thing that I plan to do is to spend more time with my kids and my family. As much as I hate to move on and I love the people and this school, it’s going to be a great next phase. 

 

  • What is a short piece of advice for Liberty students and how they should proceed in life?

 

A piece of advice that I would give to Liberty students is to trust your instinct on what you find fulfilling. It’s important to hold onto the things that really make you happy and forever excite you. In the foreseeable future, it’s important to maintain a balance between work and play. For example, when you work for a company or go to college or find a new group of friends, you need to find a positive culture and a supportive space to succeed.