“Nominees in this category will be educators who demonstrate outstanding contributions to education and the community.”
Michael McMartin, Osceola Public Schools
Football coach, track coach, wrestling coach, Camp Wapo creator, assistant principal, principal, teacher, mentor, supporter,
Began in Osceola as a 6th grade teacher.
Assistant principal for three years and then principal for
Many trade marks: one of them was to meet and greet all students at the door as they entered school each morning. Took great pride in caring for all students. His personality was such that students gravitated to him: charismatic in so many ways. He has shaped and molded many lives in this community. He always put kids first and never seemed to tire.
Our community has been blessed with two great high school principals: Bob Vesperman and Mike McMartin. There has been no better man to walk the halls of Osceola High School than MAC.
Supported arts as well as academics and athletics. He can be found at every bank, choir and drama performance. He supported Empty Bowls helping to make it the huge community outreach event that it is today. He chaperoned the Heifer Trip to Arkansas for years, helping to teach students first-hand what it’s like to live in poverty for a week without enough to eat and no adequate shelter. He always took the time to get to know the students and to make real connections that will last a lifetime.
“Mac” did not start out wanting to teach at Osceola. In his 10th year teaching 6th grade at New Richmond Schools, he was invited to meet with Mrs. Hartman, an Osceola 6th grade teacher at the time, to learn about math techniques. It was snowing that day and school was cancelled at New Richmond but not at Osceola. Mike plowed his way into Osceola. Mrs. Hartman could not meet that day and so Mike stopped in at the middle school principal’s office to check in. Principal Roger Kumlein heard Mike’s voice in the office. Mike and Roger were high school student athletes in the same conference so knew of one another. Roger insisted that Mike accompany him on a car ride around town. They ended up at the old high school building. Mike Williams was there. Williams immediately offered Mac a job as a reading teacher and as Head Football Coach for Osceola High School. Mac refused. Soon Osceola was calling again and this time, Mac accepted. He started teaching 6th grade for Osceola in 1990. The rest is history as they say.
Mac taught 6th grade at Osceola for four years. While at the middle school, Mike started the Camp Wapo program which is when sixth grade students live and learn at Camp Wappogasset near Amery for 3 days. New Richmond schools had offered the program for several years and it was highly successful for the students. Mac knew it would be a good fit for Osceola students as well and it was enjoyed by students and teachers both for 20 years. Mac also started Camper Mania while he was at the high school. All 8th graders were invited to camp out overnight on the football field (girls on one side and boys on the other, of course).
Mike’s leadership potential was quickly realized and in 1994 he was offered the job of Dean of Students at Osceola High School. At the same time, Roger Kumlein was named the new high school principal. A few years later when Roger accepted the job as Superintendent of Osceola Schools, Mike accepted the job of high school principal. Mike and Roger were a great creative and working team and the students of Osceola continue to benefit from their high standards for education and the school district. Mike is extremely proud of the staff he hired during his time at the high school and how those teachers educate our Osceola students. He states that all the activities that he was part of was a collaborative effort of the teachers he worked with.
Mac had many trademarks: one of them was to meet and greet all students at the door as they entered school each morning. He loves the hands on relationship with the kids. He took great pride in caring for all students. His personality was such that students gravitated to him: he is charismatic in so many ways. He has shaped and molded many lives in this community. He always put kids first and never seemed to tire. He instilled a strong sense of community pride in his students and showed them first hand that actively volunteering is a very important aspect of life.
Mike retired in 2014 and it doesn’t take long talking to him today to sense how much he misses his vocation already. But once he started welcoming students that were kids of past high school kids, he decided it was time to exit. In retirement he is doing construction on various projects, including a new home for himself and his wife, Bonnie. He enjoys being able to spend more time with his three children and two grandchildren.
His love of education shines through. His wife, Bonnie gave him a poem years ago with the line “touching one child is success.” Mike’s life has gone well beyond success. Our community has been blessed with two great high school principals: Bob Vesperman and Mike McMartin. There has been no better man to walk the halls of Osceola High School than MAC.
Thanks you, Mr. McMartin from the Osceola community.
Team of authors contribute. Germaine Ross, Chamber Director, Nancy Beck, Board Member.