“You realize you can do more”: a peek into the jam-packed days of Mr. Martin

Pre-COVID, Mr. Martin’s days were busy. Now, they require a whole new kind of hustle


Photo courtesy of Mr. Maniglia

Mr. Martin at RV’s graduation in 2019

Monica Mulhern, Student Life Editor

Walking into RV every day, you are able to see the numerous changes that have occurred, all of which have had positive benefits for students and staff alike. Within the past few years, RV has undergone a lot of changes between COVID-19 and Vision 2020, all having been debated about before being put into effect. Additionally, it is quite stressful, and the staff does not receive enough credit for what they can accomplish in such a short period of time, especially our principal of seven years, Mr. Martin. Here is a look into his life as a principal and how he acquired his position.

Before becoming a principal, Mr. Martin was previously a teacher at RV and a principal for three years at Palmyra High School. His experiences as a principal really how he views his occupation as a whole.

“There are really two worlds,” Mr. Martin said of his first few years as principal at RV. “There was being the head administrator of a building and leading your students and staff as a traditional thing, such as classroom observation, student recognition, and instructional leadership, and then March 2020 happens and we have the pandemic and my definition really changed.”

Mr. Martin welcoming freshmen at Freshmen Orientation in September 2021 (Photo courtesy of Mr. Maniglia)

Mr. Martin’s approach as principal, as someone both students and staff alike can approach and lean on if they have concerns, was especially signifiant due to the pandemic and the ensuing explosion of mental health issues. Ensuring people had what they needed, from supplying work to computers, was crucial during the pandemic, and even now, so being a principal is challenging and stressful, yet rewarding.

While Mr. Martin had his choice for any school for the position, he chose to return to RV and continue supporting the community here.

“When I was teaching here, I was absolutely fulfilled,” he said. “Approaching my tenth year as a teacher, I felt like I could do more and make a greater impact on the school building than the four walls you teach in. You realize you can do more for your students and your fellow teachers, and a lot of students and staff want that extra assistance and need that administrative support and leadership.”

Although working in the other school was beneficial, the community at RV has always been supportive, so being a part of the community and boosting it is very important to Mr. Martin. Additionally, being able to provide further leadership to RV allows the community to feel more secure and united, which can be easily accomplished with a principal who wants to help the students and staff thrive.

As a principal, Mr. Martin has a lot of daily meetings and duties, though that does not stop him from interacting with the student body.

“I love to go to the front of the building to greet students, it is my favorite way to start the day,” he said. “Sometimes it is interrupted by important issues, but I can judge right away when someone is coming in with a lot of baggage and that is where the school day begins.”

By checking in with the mental health of students and staff and seeing if they are okay emotionally rather than academically, Mr. Martin prioritizes listening and being a shoulder to lean on for advice and support. Being a principal does not only mean applying plans of action to a school building, rather, it also means supporting the students and staff who work here and seeing if there is anything he can do to make the day or their time at RV a little bit better.

Being a principal does not only mean applying plans of action to a school building, rather, it also means supporting the students and staff who work here and seeing if there is anything he can do to make the day or their time at RV a little bit better.”

Besides greeting people in the morning, a majority of Mr. Martin’s day consists of department and faculty meetings that are important, varying from teacher conferences to meeting students.

“If I look at my calendar, I cannot begin to tell you how my day gets filled with everything,” Mr. Martin said. “The job is about leading the building, and a lot of times that is about putting out small fires left and right to make the place the best it can be to promote student outcomes and make sure the staff wants to stay here to teach.”

The hard work and dedication Mr. Martin and the rest of the staff at RV have put to ensure the school is a safe and secure environment has been (if we can use this word) unprecedented. The struggles of hybrid learning and the reintegration of students into an environment they have not had for a year and a half have proven to be conquerable with the strength of the staff. Mr. Martin wants to be the first to applaud his teachers and colleagues at the front door every morning.