Meet Kent Martin, Senior Analyst
Where are you from and where do you live now?
I grew up in Selah, Washington, a small town just north of Yakima. I have lived all around the state. I finished my undergraduate work in Bellingham, started my education career in Vancouver, and have lived for the past 15 years in Spokane.
What do you do at FLO?
I am a Senior Analyst at FLO in the education sector. Boundary committee facilitation, business development and marketing making up the major aspects of my role. Beginning this summer, I have also been leading some county council and commissioner redistricting efforts as a project manager.
What’s rewarding about your job?
As an educational leader for over 20 years, I have always enjoyed leading initiatives where a major focus is facilitation of collaborative working groups. I am able to continue this pursuit at FLO by eliciting input from boundary committee members and building trust in the boundary scenario process with both internal clients and with school and community constituents. I enjoy seeing these committees take charge of their situation and work collaboratively to solve their respective school community initiatives.
Why is what you do important?
School districts are skilled in the education of students, but most do not have the in-house skills or resources to model new boundary scenarios that are needed to ensure that district resources are applied equitably to their students. FLO has these technological resources, and I feel that my role is to help school district teams understand how best to use these in order to determine effective long-term solutions for student growth (or decline).
What skills do you bring to your work?
I feel that I am cut from a servant leadership cloth, in that I truly want our clients to fully understand how we can help them to achieve solutions to their forecasting and boundary needs. I enjoy rolling up my sleeves and working directly with clients and their initiative committees to do this often tough and potentially contentious work. I also feel that my education leadership experience affords me instant credibility with school district administrators, which enables us to work in partnership with our clients early on in each project.
What’s the best advice you’ve received from a work colleague?
Early in my career as a new building principal, a colleague told me the secret to leadership is not to take yourself too seriously. I have always worked to keep this in mind and often try to cut the tension with colleagues through the use of humor.
If you were not a Senior Analyst, what would you be?
When I was a kid, I practiced signing my name on baseballs as I was sure I would be a big leaguer someday (that didn’t work out!). When my college baseball career came to an end, I was glad that I had worked hard in school and had a degree to fall back on. I was able to coach baseball when I was a high school teacher at Kelso High School, though! State champs, 1995!
When I moved from teaching to education administration, I continued to coach my own kids in every sport as they grew up. When I retire, I think I would like to volunteer as a youth baseball coach, or become a scout for the Mariners, if they should come calling!
What’s on your bucket list?
My first trip to Europe. My wife and I had one planned for summer 2020, but we had to cancel due to COVID. We are looking to schedule this now for summer 2023.
What was your favorite childhood movie/TV show?
I never missed Monday Night Football as a kid, or Monday Night Baseball back in the day. Fletch, with Chevy Chase, is still my favorite movie, and I can still recite almost every line.