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Dave Martin Phoenix Country Day School

Twenty-four years ago, Dave Martin made the move from teaching at a boarding school in Connecticut to become a history instructor at Phoenix Country Day School. Martin was first inspired to pursue a career in education by his University of Northern Colorado professor, Gail Rowe. “He had a reputation for being the most difficult, challenging, hardest member of the department,” says Martin, whose educational background includes two master’s degrees, one in history and one in secondary education. “But, if you could prove yourself under Rowe, you knew you were doing a good job.”
Today, the Arkansas native, who teaches United States History and Advanced Placement U.S. History to juniors and a Holocaust studies seminar class to seniors, instills those same rigorous values in his students. “Everybody in the class wants his respect,” says Conor Cathy, a former A.P. U.S. History student. “He’s that kind of teacher. He inspired me to be the best I could possibly be.”
Martin, who has an appreciation for history both in and out of the classroom, hopes his students leave with a deeper appreciation for the subject, in addition to being better civic-minded citizens. Proving that he loves to learn as much as he loves to educate, the long-time teacher plans to brush up on his skills this summer by reading eight presidential biographies. “It’s my academic goal,” he says. “And it keeps one’s mind fresh.” Also on the summer’s agenda? Helping to grade 1,004 A.P. U.S. History exams.