The Mamaroneck Community voted three new school board members into office last week: Incumbent Robin Nichinsky and newcomers Roger Martin and Melany Gray. Larchmont Patch will be running a series of Q & A articles this week to introduce the new board members to the community and present their views on district issues.
In this editon, we spoke with Dr. Roger Martin, who, with his wife, has resided in Mamaroneck since 2008. Dr. Martin attended , and graduated from (MHS). He holds BAs from Drew and Yale and a PhD from Oxford. Currently, Dr. Martin volunteers with seniors at MHS as they prepare for the college admissions process. He served as President of both Moravian College, from 1986-97, President of Randolph-Macon College, from 1997- 2006 and was Associate Dean of Harvard Divinity School. Dr. Martin is author of Racing Odysseus: A College President Becomes a Freshman Again.
Larchmont Patch: How do you think the school will manage, in future budget years, with the two percent tax cap law?
Roger Martin: With difficulty!
Larchmont Patch: Do you think it will force the district to be more cost-efficient or do you think it will potentially impact educational programs/quality of education in Mamaroneck schools?
Martin: In the beginning, it will probably force the district to be more cost-efficient and effective which is probably the only good thing about tight budgets and limited financial resources.
Larchmont Patch: What do you think the most important issues in the district are?
Martin: I can’t comment on this until I am seated on the Board and have a better sense of what the key issues are. But I imagine the district’s issues are very similar to what every school district in the country is facing with perhaps some variations. Balancing the budget while maintaining educational quality is probably paramount.
Larchmont Patch: With your many years working in educational administration at the collegiate level, do you see similarities in some of the issues affecting secondary schools versus colleges?
Martin: Many of the same issues: Working with tight budgets and limited resources, keeping focused on students and their education, and maintaining aging facilities just to mention three.
Larchmont Patch: What made you want to run for the school board?
Martin: I was brought up in this community and the public schools system formed the basis of my education and later professional success. Now that I am a retired college president, I want to give back and I have the time to do it.
Larchmont Patch: What changes need to be made in the district for the upcoming year?
Martin: It would be unwise for me to comment on this question until I have been on the board. My initial job is to listen and then to bring my 40 years of knowledge and experience in education to bear on the challenges and issues our schools are facing today and will face in the future.