Rick Martin
Rick Martin
EUGENE — Rick Martin, director of campus ministry at Marist High School, has been selected as one of six recipients nationwide of the Catholic Secondary Education Award.  

Martin was chosen by the National Catholic Education Association’s executive committee from more than 1,200 Catholic high schools in the U.S. He will receive his award at the NCEA convention to be held in New Orleans in late April.

Martin has spent more than 20 years as director of campus ministry and teacher of theology at Marist. Officials say he has been central to the school's efforts to foster a Catholic community committed to deepening the faith of youth.

A graduate in religious studies from the University of Oregon, with a master's degree in theology from the University of Portland, Martin is currently pursuing a doctorate in Catholic Educational Leadership at the University of San Francisco.  

For the past 16 years, Martin has been involved in helping Marist shift from a school run from 1968 to 1994 by the Marist Brothers, a Catholic religious community based on the East Coast, to one run largely by lay leadership.

“Rick has been the strong, quiet and unassuming but highly effective leader of Marist’s continued commitment to giving our students a strong Catholic faith,” Jay Conroy, Marist's principal.  

The education association noted his "strong, relevant" theology courses, "highly effective" Christian leadership classes, a 95 percent participation rate in the Marist retreat program, Christian service opportunities and establishment of a Catholic Culture Commission of Marist teachers.

Martin is currently serving as chair of the Archdiocese of Portland's Secondary Schools Religious Education Committee.

He began the Marist Christian Leadership class 22 years ago. The goal, he says, is to foster the spirituality of leadership based on the ministry of Jesus and to help students see "true leadership" as public action on behalf of the whole community.

The class helps become effective communicators and problem solvers in order to be successful peer ministers in high school and beyond. Those enrolled mentor younger students at Marist, plan and run a freshman all-night retreat and lead morning prayer for the student body.

Conroy calls Martin an inspired example to students.

“His leadership and hard work," Conroy says, "have helped Marist provide hundreds of graduates with a great faith foundation.”