institution, Boolie Martin
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
From the News & Advance
Boolie Martin, known for her tireless dedication to students, was more than a former Campbell County School Board member.
She was a Campbell County educational institution.
A sincere and respectful attitude is what people say they will remember most about Martin, who died on Sunday.
“She really did have incredible strength of character and really enjoyed people and life in general, and drew on that to get through some very difficult things,” said her daughter Carolyn Martin on Tuesday.
“She had some very difficult losses in her life and she was able to keep going and find joy in the people she loved and the things she loved doing.”
Martin was appointed to the Campbell County School Board in 1995 to represent the Timberlake District. Her son, Carter Martin, was a candidate for the seat but died in the Timber Lake Dam collapse the day after he filed his paperwork to run. She was appointed in his place and served until she resigned in July, citing health issues.
Before joining the school board, Martin worked for more than four decades at Leesville Road Elementary. Technically her title was secretary, but community members said she was much more.
“She was really the principal, too,” said current Leesville Road Principal Kathy Bowles.
Within Campbell County, people joke it is not Bowles who earned the title of first female principal at Leesville Road, but Martin. Her tireless service left a mark on the school.
“So many parents who come through here now came through here when they were children. She happens to be one of the folks they remember,” Bowles said.
The school recently dedicated a new courtyard to Martin. Officials from all over the county gathered for the dedication ceremony in May.
Campbell County Schools Superintendent George Nolley, whose youngest son attended Leesville while she was there, said Martin was an integral part of the school.
“I would go in and out every now and then. When I would always go by there, Boolie would be doing about a half a dozen things at one time,” he said.
She did the school’s bookkeeping, took care of substitute teachers and read the morning announcements. It wasn’t unusual for her to make sure students had the proper change to buy lunch. She even dispensed students’ medication in an era before school nurses.
“She was everywhere, doing everything,” Nolley said. “She did all those jobs that today take three or four people to do, and she was always so pleasant about it.”
Martin was well known in Campbell County for her positive attitude and ready smile. She followed the same lesson she passed on to schoolchildren - respect others.
It’s something her school board colleagues won’t forget.
“We were kinder and politer to people because of her,” said school board member Roger Akers. “She kept us being gentlemen.”
She also taught people about strength. Akers recalled the circumstances surrounding Martin’s appointment.
“I don’t know if I could have done it,” he said. “I don’t know if I could have lost a child and come on the board and started serving and doing a good job.”
Board member Leon Brandt said Martin’s presence will be missed, and her friendship is irreplaceable. While on the school board together, Brandt would drive Martin to meetings.
“She was someone you can always go to and talk to. Someone you trusted,” he said. “Someone who would never let you down.”
Brandt knew Martin as a leader steadfast in her priorities.
“Most of all we could always know that if Boolie was there, the kids were always well represented,” he said.Campbell County School Board Chairman Donald Roberts said he never met a kinder person. She was focused and honest, he said, and more than a colleague.
“It’s always been my contention a hero does the right thing each and every time,” Roberts said.
“Boolie was one of my heroes.”
Memorial gifts can be made to The Martin Scholarship Fund:
Brookville High School
100 Laxton Road
Lynchburg, VA 24502