Dr. Martin S. Karp is Vice-Chair of the Miami-Dade County School Board. He began his service after being first elected in 2004. Dr. Karp previously served as Vice-Chair of the School Board during the 2006-2007 and 2012-2013 school years, and served as the School Board representative on The Children’s Trust from 2005-2013. Currently, he is the School Board appointed representative for the Executive Board of the New World School of the Arts.
A lifelong resident of Miami-Dade County, Dr. Karp attended the University of Miami, where he earned a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership, a Master of Science in Education, and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing. He also earned a master’s degree as part of a joint M.S. and M.B.A. program from the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.
Dr. Karp has dedicated himself to championing a wide range of educational causes and programs for all children throughout Miami-Dade. He launched the gifted program at Biscayne Elementary School 26 years ago, establishing an unprecedented model partnering a private and public school to recruit student participants from both. Dr. Karp founded and produced a weekly children’s television show, WKDZ Kids’ World that aired on Cable TAP’s community access channels and WLRN channel 17. He guided and supported educational programming on WPBT channel 2 and appeared on the television program, Issues and the Media. Dr. Karp also spearheaded two radio talk shows, which he produced and hosted for local A.M. stations. The programs highlighted educational issues including school choice, dropout prevention, charter schools, overcrowding and bilingual education. Among the regularly featured guests were authors, adoption specialists and representatives from children advocacy groups, including organizations that address teen delinquency and support for the underprivileged.
Dr. Karp is a strong advocate for interest and needs-based learning which hones educational strategies to address each child as an individual learner. He has worked to insure that students with disabilities receive appropriate services and support, and created board policy which led to greater access to hands-on science courses and dramatic increases in science fair participation. Dr. Karp has also committed himself to decreasing the number of high school dropouts and increasing graduation rates by introducing City Year, AVID and College Summit programs that have been successfully embedded in schools across the district. In addition, he created a working group with support from the Education Fund that unites various college representatives and promotes the recruitment of students who would otherwise be overlooked for postsecondary educational opportunities.
Dr. Karp has proffered Board items for children with disabilities, gifted students, children in foster care and students whose families are facing foreclosure. He founded a countywide initiative known as the H.O.P.E. (Help Overcome Pet Euthanasia) Contest. The Contest provides a platform for students to engage in problem-solving activities addressing pet overpopulation in the community. More than 10,000 students have participated in the Contest since its inception 23 years ago and Dr. Karp continues to coordinate the Contest today.
Dr. Karp and his wife, Danielle, are the proud parents of Herschel, Benjamin and Samson Raphael.
In recognition of his dedication to advancing education for all children, Dr. Karp has been awarded the “Cervantes Outstanding Educator Award”, the “Helping Hands Award”, and the “People, Pets & Vets Award.” He has also received the highest honor in Scouting—Eagle Scout.