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iPIX’s Martin to seek Board of Education District 6 seat

Farragut resident H. Lee Martin announced this week he intends to run for the 6th District position on the Knox County Board of Education.

Sixth District incumbent Charles “Chuck” James has said he has no plans to run for another term and currently no other candidates have filed for the seat.

“I’ve never run for public office before and a couple of close friends urged me to run,” Martin said. “I think everyone should do something to give back to their community.”

He said service to the community is a prime reason he is running for the position, even though two of his children attend privately-owned Christian Aca-demy of Knoxville and the third attends The Webb School of Knoxville.

Martin said he is in the process of developing his platform of what he would like to accomplish as a School Board member. But he has a couple of ideas.

“From what I’m seeing, I think there are some things that can be learned from the private sector and private schools,” he said.

Martin said private schools have a program called the buddy system, where students are paired up with each other and, sometimes, older students for one-on-one reading time.

“I’ve done some research into this and a lot of studies show that if by third-grade students aren’t reading at grade level, then there are a lot more problems as they go on into high school,” he said.

Martin said a similar program needs to be considered for our schools. It could work in conjunction with the Read with Me program, which pairs volunteers with students for one-on-one reading time.

“I think it’s so important we teach our children to have a heart of service,” Martin said.

He said this program would allow the younger of the two students to serve the older student, like a fourth grader, and give him or her a sense of service. The older student would have the feeling of satisfaction of helping someone else to read.

Martin sees the new West Knox high school as an opportunity to do some innovative things with technology.

“We’re going to have a lot of brain power passing by that place every day,” he said, referring to the scientists and engineers that work in Oak Ridge. “We’ll need to find ways to get them active in the community.”

Martin said he isn’t planning on making school vouchers a part of his political platform, even though he cited their value in an article he wrote for the 2004 issue of The Bent magazine.

Martin in the article describes an issue called technomics, which deals with the benefits of competition in a global economy. He writes: “The easiest way to introduce competition into the sector is through an educational voucher program to provide parents an opportunity to select options for their children.”

“I do stand by what that article says, but vouchers will not be a point within the next four years,” Martin said.

A 1978 graduate of the University of Tennessee with a bachelor’s degree in engineering, Martin went on to earn his doctorate.

In 1986, he was a co-founder of Telerobotics International Inc., which became Omniview in 1994 and later changed to iPIX in 1997. The company developed 360-degree imagery technology and Martin said he served as its CEO for 11 years.

Martin holds 21 U.S. patents in various technology fields and there was a lawsuit involving one of those patents. Ford Oxaal of Cohoes, N.Y., sued iPIX for a patent infringement over 360-degree imagery and Martin’s name was on that patent. Martin said that case was later settled out of court.

Martin has also written 25 papers on various science and technology issues and was twice awarded the R&D 100 Award by Research and Development magazine.

He also is involved in the community. His activities range from coaching church and youth sports to being a trombonist with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra. Martin also serves on the following boards:

• Chairman of the UT Chancellor’s Associates

• Chairman of the Knox Area Rescue Ministries

• East Tennessee Foundation

• UT College of Engineering Advisory Board

• MTSU College of Arts and Sciences Board

• UT School of Music Board of Advisors

He and his wife, Carla, live in Farragut and are members of Two Rivers Church.


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