The Minnesota State High School League’s Board of Directors on Monday approved a selection committee’s recommendation to hire Erich Martens as the seventh Executive Director in the 101-year history of the organization.
Martens, currently the principal at Sauk Rapids-Rice High School, was approved in a roll call vote after a selection committee’s recommendation to the board of directors.
“The Minnesota State High School League is a very respected organization and provides outstanding opportunities for students in academics, arts, and athletics and I am thrilled to move into the executive director role and support students, coaches, directors, and administrators as they continue to pursue their passions and learn through their participation,” Martens said.
Martens has served as the principal at Sauk Rapids-Rice High School since 2004. Previously, he was the principal at Sauk Centre High School from 1999-2004. He began his career in education in 1988 as a mathematics instructor and coach with positions at Sauk Rapids-Rice High School, Cosmos High School and Mitchell (SD) Middle School.
A graduate of St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minn., Martens has held numerous leadership roles, dating to 2005. He has served as president of the MSHSL’s Board of Directors during the 2015-2016 school year and has had leadership roles with the Minnesota Association of Secondary School Principals.
“I am extremely proud of the work done by the selection committee,” Board President Dave Swanberg said. “The work was thorough, intentional and professional. Erich Martens was selected because of his growth mindset, calm demeanor and his ability to bring people together to work toward a common goal.”
Martens will take over for Dave Stead, the longest serving Executive Director in MSHSL history. In August, Stead announced he will transition to a senior staff role. The start date for Martens is to be determined.
"I believe it is imperative that the League continue the traditions on which it has been built, and at the same time be intentional about innovation and creativity,” Martens said. “We need to continue to work with our member schools to provide great opportunities and look for ways to grow new programs and also increase the diversity of leadership within our organization to reach all schools and represent all students."