For Larry Martell, the current and future success of Woodland students is primary.
Martell has been on the Woodland Education Foundation for 20 years; he has served the last 12 years as president. Now, he’s stepping aside.
“I’ve seen a lot of changes during that time,” Martell said. “We’ve instituted some good programs. I just retired after this year. It’s kind of bittersweet, but it’s time to give other people a chance.”
Included in those programs are the Woodland Hall of Fame, which honors successful alumni and the Woodland Excellence in Education, an award for standout educators.
“For the Woodland Hall of Fame, we have alumni who have accomplished a great deal speak in front of the students, who think if they can do it, maybe we can too,” Martell said. “Many in the student body know alumni with major accomplishments. We really feel this gives the students the incentive to do better.”
Martell said the Woodland Excellence in Education, which recognizes one teacher each year for their accomplishments during a dual banquet for the Hall of Fame, also gives educators an incentive to do their best.
A third arm of the foundation is to raise money for student activities.
“This is to try to enhance the education of students for trips they wouldn’t normally have, to broaden their horizons,” Martell said. “Our basic goal is to enhance education of students to make them better in the long run.”
Martell credited foundation board members with coming together for the sake of the students, to promote quality programs.
“People on the board come from all different walks of life,” Martell said. “They have some good ideas and some prominent people on the board that have helped to enhance the whole program.”
Vicki Walter, retired administrative assistant from the school, serves as secretary for the foundation.
“She has made it a lot easier for me,” Martell said. “She is always there to keep things organized and gets very little recognition for doing such.”
“He’s always just that force that kept everything on track,” Walter said. “He and I worked very well together and had the same goals for the students and the foundation. When you have that consistency, things always seem to run well. … Everyone was so appreciative of all he’s done for the foundation.”