Camelot’s Model Team leader in Richmond, VA
Spartan Academy’s Eric Martin is the school’s team leader; a very important position among the school’s staff. But he’s also a part time fashion model with a growing career that has led him into local photo shoots and fashion events.
Martin came to Camelot Education’s Richmond Alternative School – Spartan Academy after completing his education at the University of Dubuque in Iowa. The Chicago native said he wanted a small environment that was different. He also started out his career at Spartan Academy as a science teacher before switching over to being team leader.
“I was a science teacher when I first came here but soon wanted to switch over because I was really interested in the behavior of the students,” he said. “If we’re going to get them on track academically, we have to address their behavioral issues first. Otherwise, how can they learn and excel? You have to address their immediate needs first.”
Students at Spartan Academy have experienced disciplinary violations and are removed from their home campuses. Students at Spartan eventually return to their home schools with improved behavior, attendance, and academics.
“Being the team leader means monitoring the daily operations of the school, making sure the teachers have the supplies they need and above all, being there for our students,” Martin said. “Some of them come to school with emotional problems or situations they might be facing in their homes. They often need someone to talk with, a listening ear. Being from inner city urban environments, a lot of our students have seen or been the victims of street violence. That can be emotionally and mentally damaging. They need our help and compassion. Remember, they were removed from their home campuses because of these problems.”
Martin said he always has time to assist students with their science studies even though that’s not his main focus any more. He also helps them with other subjects if they need it. When they return to their home campuses, many of them call or text him to express how much they liked their time at Spartan Academy.
“When they transition back we get calls from them all the time. We hear how much they miss it all the time.”
Martin divides his time as team leader with being a fashion model.
“It’s something I do part time. Mostly I do local photo shoots or local fashion events. One of the most significant is the RVA Fashion Week. The event represents Richmond, Virginia and the surrounding area’s top models, leading designers, and stylists.
“It’s a local event that showcases many of the industry’s top organizations and charities and of course, local models. It has helped existing businesses build their clientele. I’ve met a lot of people in the fashion industry participating in this event. My first love is helping and interacting with the students at Spartan though.”