New director of W-F pupil services
Kandi Martin loves school and sees herself always being a student.
She is the new director of pupil services and curriculum in the Weyauwega-Fremont (W-F) School District.
Martin was born and raised in New London, and continues to live there with her husband, Ryan, and their four children.
The position in the school district was the opportunity for her to get closer to home, she said.
“School has always been so important to me,” Martin said. “I plan to go on further for school. I love school – being a student and a teacher.”
Martin says all of the teachers she encountered as a student in New London had an impact on her.
During high school, she worked on a farm. “Scott (Bleck, the district administrator) and I were in high school at the same time. He was a couple years older, but we knew each other,” she said.
Martin sees the school district’s administrative team as a perfect balance and one that collaborates nicely.
Most recently, she worked as a counselor at Neenah High School. She was a counselor there from 2005 to 2010.
Martin received a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
“English was always my passion when I was in high school. Reading and writing were my No. 1 interests,” she said.
That background helps in the work she does today as she is in the process of rewriting the curriculum in the W-F School District.
Martin began her career in the Waupaca School District, where she was a career specialist from 1997 to 1998 and an English teacher at Waupaca High School from 1998 until 2005. It was during those years of teaching that she became interested in counseling.
“When I was in the classroom, I was the one students would always come to. But, I didn’t have time for one-on-one,” she said.
She began studying counseling and in the summer of 2004, received a master’s degree in counseling from Lakeland College.
The following year, she became a counselor at Neenah High School.
In addition to her work as a counselor, much committee work was bestowed on her. As she began to work on many district initiatives, her own studying continued.
Martin believes in leading by example and has always had a strong work ethic.
“I’m always the first one here in the morning, and I work all day,” she said.
She also helps her husband on their crop farm when she can. The couple has four children: 12-year-old Mitchell, 8-year-old Max, 2-year-old Casey and 6-month-old Clara.
In the summer of 2008, she received a master’s degree in educational leadership from Marian University.
“I will probably go further to school. I will probably wait until Clara is 1 year old until I take that on,” she said.
As the director of pupil services, Martin supervises the school district’s counselors, psychologist, nurse, special education teachers, interpreters and speech and language pathologist.
The curriculum role means being the leader for the district’s curriculum. The current push is working on the implementation of the state’s common core standards.
In her new role, Martin has many goals and ideas. Among them is increasing the number of high school graduates who go on to postsecondary school. To aid in that, an ACT prep class will be implemented this school year. An eighth-grade transition night is also being added to help show students and their parents options.
“My long-term goal is to implement an academic model at the high school, so students take electives based on the careers they are going into, and the core classes would be related,” she said. “We want to be a destination district – that it’s a place to be because of its rich offerings.”