John Martin, a former interim superintendent of the Kansas City school district, has been appointed by Gov. Jay Nixon to the Missouri State Board of Education.
Martin said he learned of the appointment Monday afternoon. He will serve as an interim member of the board, pending confirmation by the Missouri Senate.
Martin served nine years as superintendent of the Grandview School District and was recruited in 2008 to be interim superintendent in Kansas City. He held that post for nine months, between Superintendent Anthony Amato and interim Superintendent Clive Coleman. He also was a deputy superintendent in St Louis.
Martin said he applied for the position on the state board.
“My interests on the board are in helping education in Missouri and making sure we do the best we can to support children across the state,” Martin said Monday.
Martin adds a voice from the Kansas City area to the state board, which it has not had since the Rev. Stan Archie resigned last January.
“I worked there once, and I am interested in seeing it is successful,” Martin said of the unaccredited Kansas City district.
Steve Green, the current Kansas City superintendent, welcomed Martin’s appointment to the state board, saying that Martin had attempted to bring stability to the district during his tenure.
“In as much as the Kansas City Public Schools continue to move toward stability and sustainability, I see this appointment as a positive direction,” Green said. “He’s from Kansas City. He’s a seasoned educator. He would appreciate, in my estimation, the improvement the district is making.”
Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro has come under fire for not being transparent in contracting with a consultant to recommend an overhaul of Kansas City’s schools. She said no decisions have been made. The consultant’s report is due when the state board next meets Jan. 13 in Jefferson City.
Martin said he has known and worked well with Nicastro since the 1970s.
“In terms of working with her and evaluating her, she would be like any other employee,” Martin said. “I’ve been in situations where I had to work with friends and had to discipline friends. I don’t know anything about this (issue) other than what I’ve read in the paper, and I don’t want to make a decision based on secondhand information. She will be treated as fairly as anyone else.”