BY CAROL VAUGHN, Eastern Shore Post
Northampton County Public Schools’ associate superintendent for instruction has been hired by the school board as its new superintendent.
The announcement that Lisa L. Martin had accepted the position was made at the Jan. 26 school board meeting. Martin had been serving as the county’s interim superintendent.
The district, with a student enrollment of 1,379, has two elementary schools, one middle school, one high school, a center for careers and technology, and an alternative education center.
Martin signed a contract that extends through June 30, 2026, according to School Board Chairperson Liz Jones.
Her base salary is $140,000 plus a 6% increase because she holds a doctorate degree, making Martin’s total annual salary $148,000.
Martin had been serving as acting superintendent since December, after her predecessor, Jaime Cole, resigned after five months on the job.
“Dr. Martin is the steadfast, passionate, and thoughtful leader needed for our district. Dr. Martin comes with a wealth of knowledge in public education and her ‘student first’ mentality is going to push our district forward. I can’t wait to watch our schools flourish under her leadership,” Jones said in a press release.
Martin said, “I am incredibly humbled and honored to be selected as the superintendent of Northampton County Public Schools and to serve the division in this capacity. I look forward to continuing to listen and learn from each of you and to assist in bridging communication gaps and building trust.”
She added: “I want to thank the school board for this opportunity and their continued support of our schools. In my experiences on the ‘Shore,’ I have come to quickly recognize Northampton County’s beauty as a community rich in tradition, culture, and diversity. I feel truly blessed to work with such caring groups of teachers, administrators, and staff members committed to working together to do great things for our students, families, and community.”
Cole, who spent more than 20 years working in Arizona public schools, was Northampton schools’ associate superintendent before accepting the superintendent position this school year.
She replaced Eddie Lawrence, who retired after eight years as superintendent.
Martin has more than 30 years of experience in education and administration, according to the release.
Before coming to Northampton County, Martin most recently worked in the Virginia Department of Education’s Office of School Quality, where she supported schools in identifying and implementing sustainable, strategic improvement strategies.
Martin also has worked as a superintendent, a chief academic officer, an associate/assistant superintendent, a principal, an assistant principal, and a middle school and high school teacher.
During her career, Martin was recognized as the Washington Post Principal of the Year for Stafford County, Va., and as a Principal of Distinction by the Virginia Department of Education.
When she was principal, Martin’s school received the AARP Ethel Percy Andrus Award as the Most Innovative High School.
Additionally, she was selected to participate in the Vincent E. Reed Leadership Institute and the North Carolina School Superintendents Association’s Next Generation of Leaders program.
Martin completed her doctoral work at Virginia Commonwealth University and was awarded a Ph.D. – Urban Services Program: Educational Leadership.
She earned a master’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Florida.
“Even before being hired by Northampton County Public Schools in her original capacity as associate superintendent, Dr. Martin and her husband had made a commitment to Northampton County by acquiring a home here with the intention of eventually retiring to our county. We are incredibly fortunate to have found a leader of Dr. Martin’s caliber who has already demonstrated both her great competence at the job for which she has been hired and her devotion to Northampton County and the students in its public schools,” according to the release from the school board.