In 20 years as a school administrator, Kristi Martin came to love seeing students outside the traditional classroom setting, doing the things they enjoyed most.
On top of that, sports have always been a part of her life. So Martin jumped at an opportunity to lead the Richmond-Burton athletic department.
Martin, 45, of Wauconda, will become the new athletic and activities director at R-B, officially beginning her new position July 1. While she hasn’t served as an athletic director before, she brings 20 years of experience as a school administrator.
Martin was a dean and an assistant principal at Lake County Tech Campus, a career and technical school, in Grayslake for 19 years. She spent the past year as the dean of students at R-B.
“As an educator, you’re constantly coaching, you’re coaching each other, you’re coaching your kids and your students,” Martin said. “It’s an awesome opportunity.”
Martin will take over for Pat Elder, who was the head football coach and athletic director at R-B since 2006. The Richmond-Burton High School District 157 board voted, 4-3, in February not to renew Elder’s contract, which ends June 30.
Elder is facing a felony charge stemming from a driving under the influence incident in July 2017. Elder did not coach football last season, but remained athletic director throughout the school year.
Assistant coaches Tad DePorter and Brett Zick served as co-head coaches in 2017. In March, R-B hired former McHenry coach Mike Noll to coach the football team.
Martin played soccer at Division III St. Norbert College. While she hasn’t coached at the varsity level, she has coached her three kids through youth soccer.
“We’re really excited to have her as athletic director,” R-B principal Patrick Enright said. “She has a lot of passion for athletics, she’s super organized, great communication skills.”
Martin is excited to work with coaches and students. She said she felt like the new kid on the block when she first came to R-B last year, and she’s ready to take the next step.
“The coaches [at R-B] work really well with our student-athletes,” Martin said. “From the activity standpoint, I’ve had a great year seeing everything that R-B has to offer for students. I look to carry on that tradition. I thoroughly enjoy seeing kids involved. I think that’s a huge part of the high school experience.”