Jeremy Martin was ready for a new challenge.
He had spent the last 10 years at the Port Edwards School District, near Wisconsin Rapids, serving as an athletic director and a Spanish teacher. He went to college near there, at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, and it's where his four kids were born.
He wore many hats at Port Edwards, a school with less than 200 students.
But when the athletic director/associate principal opening came up at the larger Brookfield East High School, he knew he couldn't pass up the opportunity.
"I think, even though I come from a small school, I see a lot of the same qualities here of building relationships," said Martin, who beat out 120 applicants for the position. "I think the bottom line is it was a good fit. It was good for me and good for the district.
"I felt connected on a number of levels and feel they felt comfortable with me as well."
Since starting on July 1 he's met with every varsity coach, and with the fall sports season underway, Martin can already see he was right to be interested in the position.
"It's been wonderful meeting so many people in the community, knowing that they share the same values as I do," Martin said. "I'm humbled by the talents and commitment of those at the district whose mission is every student, every time, all the time."
Martin has implemented a new program called "Character Matters" for coaches and student-athletes. Martin said only two Wisconsin schools used the program this year.
"It's an actual curriculum to help with leadership skills and build a positive culture that stresses education and character," Martin said.
Martin, 37, also wants to help spearhead a plan to improve facilities at East.
"What I want to see is a vision of moving forward," Martin said. "I think wonderful improvements have been made, but we just need the direction of getting a lot of coaches' input."
This overall plan, Martin said, could include improving the softball diamond and repairing the track and tennis courts.
He'll see the start of some renovations with a new football scoreboard set to be installed next week.
Martin replaces Cale Vogel, who left after just one year at the helm to become the middle and high school principal and athletic administrator for the Johnson Creek School District.
Martin, however, said he wants to build something special at East.
"I plan on being here long-term," Martin said. "I don't want to play the game of moving around all the time. It's a wonderful opportunity and it's about helping make something great become even greater."
At a glance
WHO: Jeremy Martin
WHAT: Brookfield East athletic director
EDUCATION: undergraduate degree at UW-Stevens Point, masters in education with emphasis in technology from Marian University; masters in education leadership and administration from Jones International University in Colorado
FAMILY: wife Beajay; daughter Saylea, 10, and Laney, 4; sons Ivan, 8, and Cade, 6
HOBBIES: attending sporting events, spending time with family
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