Oregon educator picked to lead Maryknoll High
A man who successfully led a Catholic high school in Oregon while the Archdiocese of Portland was going through bankruptcy caused by a priest sex-abuse scandal will become president of Maryknoll High School on July 1, the school has announced.
Perry K. Martin, principal and acting president of Marist Catholic High School in Eugene, Ore., will replace Mike Baker, who held Maryknoll's top post for 11 years.
Martin headed Marist High during a three-year bankruptcy that cost the Archdiocese of Portland millions of dollars to settle claims of sex abuse by priests.
Under Martin, 50, Marist High raised money to put finances in the black for the first time in seven years, added four computer labs and equipped every classroom with laptops, projectors and multimedia applications, Maryknoll said in a news release. It has also boosted student enrollment and raised faculty pay.
Martin previously served as principal of Sacred Heart Catholic High School in Medford, Ore., and held teaching positions in that state and Saudi Arabia.
He received his bachelor's and master's degrees in education from Western Oregon State College.
Maryknoll interviewed dozens of candidates from Hawaii and the mainland since it began looking for a new president in the summer, said Robert Harrison, who led the search as head of the school's finance committee.
Martin stood out for his successful work at Marist and his nearly 30 years in education, including a dozen years in Saudi Arabia, Harrison said.
"He was our top choice. He was the guy we wanted to have," he said.
Baker, 68, who will retire in New England, called Martin a great listener and "a thoughtful guy."
"He spent a week here in February and he has made a genuine effort to get to know the staff. I'm very impressed with him," Baker said. "I'm sure the school is going to be in great hands."
Maryknoll, Oahu's only Catholic co-educational school, serves 1,400 students from prekindergarten through grade 12. The school, which is celebrating its 80th anniversary, plans to open a $16 million gymnasium and community center by April 2009 on a nearly 4-acre site bordered by Wilder Avenue, Dole and Alexander streets and Halekula Way.