Meeting Mr. DeMartinis

Kenneth Howe, Staff Writer

This year Mepham High School has a brand new principal. “The Buccaneer” interviewed him with questions on various topics. Here is what he had to say:

 Growing up in Bethpage, Mr. DeMartinis attended Bethpage High School. He loves the community and says that he likes it because of the small-town feel, and says he likes the school district because “the teachers and educational staff are great there.” Our community here reminds Mr. DeMartinis a lot of Bethpage, which he likes a lot. For college, he went to SUNY Albany. He enjoyed his time there and loves the SUNY school system. For his master’s degree and advanced certificate in educational leadership, he went to L.I.U. (formerly C.W Post.).  Mr. DeMartinis commented on the fact that the school has a really nice campus, and that it was a great place especially if you do not want to go away for college as it is on Long Island.  

His first job in education was actually as a counselor at John F. Kennedy High School. Toward the end of his internship, one of the counselors at Kennedy was transferring to another school, so he interviewed for the position and ended up getting the job. At Calhoun High School, he was an assistant principal, and now he is here at Mepham as the new principal. He says that he is very lucky and blessed to have his whole career here in the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District.

When he was asked about what he likes about Mepham he said it was “hard to put in a quick answer.” What he did like about Mepham was the overall welcoming feeling. While touring the school and meeting students and teachers, he said everyone was friendly and that “you don’t see this amazing sense of community in every high school.”

His favorite aspect about being a principal is that it comes with a sense of professionalism and personal pride, especially at Mepham where he is working with all of our great staff and students, saying that it is an incredible honor. On the other hand, what he doesn’t like about being a principal is that it can be stressful, dealing with issues such as conflicts and other concerns that need to be resolved when people make mistakes. However, even though those moments are tough, he says that those are topics that the school will work past and will get through together. 

Compared to other schools he has worked at, Mepham was and wasn’t different. He thinks the student and staff communities are very similar because Bellmore Merrick has three high schools in a small area. He feels we are a very close community and that is because of our central leadership with Mr. Harrington (our superintendent), all of the amazing people he has hired over the years, and his vision for the district. But he says that Mepham is different in the sense that we are very spirited, and that there is a lot of Mepham pride. 

When asked what he wants to do differently at Mepham than the last principal, he says that it is “hard to say” because he is just getting to know Mepham and wants to see Mepham at work throughout the seasons. Plus he doesn’t really see much that needs to change. But if he did see something that needed to be changed he would talk with all of the administrators, staff, and students. However, one part he did change is the 9th-grade orientation, where instead of a traditional presentation style, he had students moving around and doing smaller workshops. He also changed the pep rally from where everybody used to walk out to the field after 9th period. Instead, he moved it right before Pirate Fest. Each team will do a parade around the track which he said was a nod to years past when the school would have a huge parade down Camp Avenue leading to campus. 

What he likes about the student body of Mepham is that he loves when he walks down the hallway and sees different students interacting with different people. He also says that while everyone has their friend groups, he notices that many people feel comfortable branching out and talking to other students. 

In total Mr. DeMartinis will be a great principal, and we are all honored to have him here at Mepham. Welcome to our school!