GEOFF MARIETTA

Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 7: Directors

GEOFF MARIETTA
Director, June 2015 – March 1, 2019


TAGS: Geoff Marietta ; executive directors ; Skyler (Brosi) Marietta ; Burton and Mary Rogers ; Connie (Fearington) Brosi ; teachers ; economic development ; resource conservation ; iron mining ; work study ; special education ; Navajo Nation ; education ; technology ; leadership ; James Graham Brown Foundation ; collaboration ;  Chapel ; entrepreneurship; sustainable agriculture ; ecology ; preservation of folk traditions ; outreach ; Big Log ;


Director, Geoff Marietta and Board of Trustees take a buildings and grounds walk.

March 1, 2019 Geoff Marietta left this reflection of his years at Pine Mountain Settlement School as Executive Director.

“On my last day as Executive Director at Pine Mountain Settlement School I can only think of two words to say.  Thank you.  Thank you for your advice, service, and support. Thank for your patience. Thank you for your encouragement. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve the amazing spirit-filled Pine Mountain Settlement School. “

Geoff Marietta initially set foot on the campus of Pine Mountain Settlement School over ten years before he began his work as Executive Director in 2015 as the School’s 13th director. He wrote about his first impressions of the School in his letter of application for the position at Pine Mountain Settlement School:

At the time, I was visiting from New Mexico, and I was immediately overwhelmed by its natural beauty and how the history, culture, and traditions of Appalachia pervaded the landscape….My original connection was…my wife’s family. From them, I learned about the legacy of Burton and Mary Rogers and heard stories from my mother-in-law, Connie Fearington Brosi, about her days teaching at the community school in the 1960s. But there was something more that has drawn me back to the region over and again for the past ten years…. What I felt then and now is the power and potential of Pine Mountain to serve as a guiding light, not only for the coalfield region of Appalachia but also for communities across the nation balancing the tensions between economic development and resource conservation.

Although Geoff came to the coal-mining town of Harlan, KY, as an outsider, his roots were deep in the mining region of Minnesota. He was born August 9, 1978, in Hibbing, MN, to Karl Edward and Deborah Lynn (Koerner) Marietta and raised in the middle of the rich ore bed on the Mesabi Iron Range. The Mesabi is home to the largest open-pit iron mine in the world. His mother and father’s jobs existed because of the mining industry, having moved to Minnesota after coal mining opportunities declined in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. He learned at an early age the promises and perils of mining; Indeed, his great-grandfather died in a cave-in at a coal mine in the Poconos.

Just as mining provided jobs and put food on the table for the people in eastern Kentucky and has been interwoven in the stories, songs, art, and way of life in the region, it was so in Hibbing, Minnesota. But, while Geoff was growing up in the area, he began to understand that mining also caused divides between communities and families because of the environmental and personal risks inherent in resource extraction by outside interests.

Those tensions fueled his desire to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Resource Conservation from the University of Montana (Missoula, MT) in 2001. There, he hoped to find the productive connection between economic development and environmental stewardship by studying dendrology, soil science, wilderness preservation, and environmental policy. However, a work-study position doing laundry at a shelter for abused and neglected children changed his educational trajectory. He understood the power of education and the impact it was having on his life and could have on others.

After Geoff graduated from the University of Montana, he became a high school special education teacher (via Teach for America) in a remote section of the Navajo Nation in New Mexico. Living in teacher housing on the reservation, he experienced the challenges Native American communities faced in their efforts to preserve their cultures, traditions, and language during rapid economic and technological change. Their struggles were very similar to the ones he saw in the Hibbing community and later in Eastern Kentucky.

As he moved into leadership positions in his school district in New Mexico, first to department head, then to assistant principal, and finally to a district-level coordinator, Geoff was imagining a future for rural communities that included both prosperity and preservation. As he honed his instructional and leadership skills, he also earned Masters’ degrees in Special Education and Educational Leadership from Western New Mexico University (Silver City) in 2004.

His love of nature made it easy to see why conservation and preservation mattered. However, he still felt a need to understand how business, economics, and finance worked. It was the drive to better understand these social and economic forces that brought him to Harvard University (Cambridge, MA), first to earn his MBA at the Business School. He then moved on to the Education School where his research interests focused on how organizational structures and social interactions influence collaboration and learning. He was particularly interested in the fundamental social processes underlying role-taking, and how those processes inhibit or facilitate learning and communication between people from different backgrounds. He graduated from Harvard with a doctorate in spring of 2015. By that time he had, in all, published more than 20 cases and reports on policies and practices in education.

In 2007, during his Harvard years, Geoff founded Marietta Consulting Group, LLC, that develops policy reports and cases serving clients such as the Gates Foundation and the Foundation for Child Development.

Also while still at Harvard, Geoff co-founded a start-up in Whitesburg, KY, in 2012. The new venture, Giant Otter Technologies, Inc., collaborated with Appalshop, an arts and education center, to hire area young people to create video games that seek to intervene in bullying in schools. His work in Whitesburg was successful because, as he came to strongly believe, the only way to solve complex social problems is by working together. It leveraged the strengths of the local community, the intelligence and creativity of the young people, the technology and training of Appalshop, and the storytelling and heritage of eastern Kentucky. These are also the goals that Geoff saw for Pine Mountain when he accepted the position of director of the School.

Geoff’s wife, Skyler [“Sky”] (Brosi) Marietta, was familiar with Pine Mountain School long before Geoff’s first visit to the campus. Sky’s mother, Connie Fearington. had been a PMSS teacher at the School in 1968 and Sky maintained a love for the School ever since her first visit there. Geoff and Sky first met at the Navajo Nation in New Mexico where Geoff was teaching. She and her mother told him of their fond memories of the School and eventually Sky brought Geoff to the campus for his first visit. Shortly after that visit, in June 2005, the two were married in the PMSS Chapel. They now have two children, Harlan and Perry, both named after Kentucky counties.

As the designated Executive Director of Pine Mountain School, Geoff has not only solicited ideas, plans, hopes for the School from all who wish to see it grow and prosper but also has his own vision of the School’s future:

I am eager to continue and expand the legacy of education and sustainable agriculture. I want to bring visitors to this site to learn about ecology and to preserve the folk traditions of the region. To meet these goals, I would also like to expand our outreach and presence.

For the first three years of his directorship, Geoff and his growing family selected Big Log as their home while at Pine Mountain instead of Far House, which had been the traditional director’s residence since 1989. Located at the end of a gravel road and adjacent to a wooded area of the campus, Big Log was built of huge hand-hewn logs in 1913 when the School was co-founded by Katherine Pettit. Beginning in 1914, Pettit lived there for many years along with other staff and 25 children. In a January 2015 email about his plans to live in Big Log, Geoff wrote, “Although our sons have a lot of energy, I don’t think we’ll be able to replicate the amount of activity that went on in Big Log during Ms. Petitt’s time!” As the family grew and the very talented team of Geoff and Sky looked for ways to utilize their expertise, the choice was made to live off-campus and to re-locate in Corbin, Kentucky, a good location for the children and for placing Geoff closer to his fun-raising activity and Sky closer to career opportunities.

Eastern Kentucky remains a central focus in the lives of both Geoff and Sky. The natural setting of Pine Mountain will continue to be a place they will return to time and again as their careers take them in directions other than Pine Mountain, but Geoff’s impact on the Pine Mountain Valley and Harlan County will be, in his words,  long-lasting as will his attachment to this place. The needs of the surrounding community will continue but the next Executive Director will find a smoother road paved by Geoff’s talent and skills in giving Pine Mountain a structural overhaul and daily encouragement to the people whose lives he touched.

On this last day of service to Pine Mountain Andrea Woodward, Chair of the Pine Mountain Settlement School Board of Trustee wrote to Geoff and to the BOT

“Thank you for your service to Pine Mountain Settlement School over these past four years, Geoff, and all the best to you as you move onto the next chapter of meaningful and important work in the region. We look forward to seeing where that work leads, and we know it will be exciting to follow.

We’re forever grateful for everything you’ve accomplished at Pine Mountain and the direction in which you’ve helped steer the school. These four years have included some especially notable moments in our history, the most exciting of which have been those that have brought the school back to its roots and reinforced the connection with its own history and the local community. Thank you for bringing out all of the very best in PMSS in everything you’ve done.”


GALLERY

See Also: CONNIE FEARINGTON BROSI Biography


PUBLICATIONS

Peer-Reviewed Journal Article

Gehlbach, H., Marietta, G.E., King, A., Karutz, C., Bailenson, J.N., & Dede, C. (2015, in press). Many ways to walk a mile in another’s moccasins: Types of social perspective taking and their effect on negotiation outcomes. Computers in Human Behavior.

Books

Johnson, S.M., Marietta, G.E., Higgins, M.C., Mapp, K., & Grossman, A. (2015, in press). Managing the central office-school relationship for success. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.

Higgins, M.C., Richman, A., with Marietta, G.E. (2016, under contract). 20 years out: How nine HBS grads embraced paradox in their careers.

Book Chapters

King, A., Marietta, G.E., & Gehlbach, H. (2014). The role of role-taking: Social perspective taking and interpersonal relationships in virtual simulations. In D. Zandivliet, P.D. Brok, T. Mainhard, & J.V. Tartwijk (Eds.), Interpersonal relationships in education: From theory to practice (pp. 95-110). Boston: Sense Publishers.

Manuscripts in Preparation for Peer Review

Marietta, G.E., Marietta, S.H., Smith, A., & Brosi, E. (2014). This is our one chance: Technology training and leadership in a rural Appalachian community. Article in preparation for fall submission.

Marietta, G.E. (2014). Applying loose coupling theory to the study of district-school relations. Article in preparation for fall submission.

Marietta, G.E., Ibekwe, N., Viola, J., Claremon, J., & Gehlbach, H. (2015). Improving relationships through virtual environments: How seeing the world through victims’ eyes may prevent bullying. Article in preparation for submission.

Policy and Foundation Reports

Marietta, G.E., & Rennie Center for Education Research and Policy. (2015 in press). Labor management community collaboration: Resources for educators and community partners. Boston: Rennie Center for Education Research and Policy.

Marietta, G.E., & Rennie Center for Education Research and Policy. (2014). New Mission High School: Building a culture of college success. Boston: Rennie Center for Education Research and Policy.

Marietta, G.E., & Marietta, S.H. (2013). PreK-3rd’s lasting architecture: Successfully serving linguistically and culturally diverse students in Union City, New Jersey. New York. Foundation for Child Development.

Marietta, G.E., & Rennie Center for Education Research and Policy. (2013). The Massachusetts Teachers Association and education in the Commonwealth. Boston: Rennie Center for Education Research and Policy.

Marietta, G.E., & Marietta, S.H. (2013). The Promise of PreK-3rd: Promoting excellence for dual language learners in Red Bank Public Schools. New York. Foundation for Child Development.

Marietta, G.E., & Rennie Center for Education Research and Policy. (2012). Labor

management-community collaboration in Springfield Public Schools. Boston: Rennie Center for Education Research and Policy.

Marietta, G.E. (2011). Leading change in Hillsborough County Public Schools. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Empowering Effective Teachers initiative. Tampa, FL: Hillsborough County Public Schools.

Marietta, G.E. (2011). Multiple measures of teacher effectiveness in Hillsborough County Public Schools: The role of principals. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Empowering Effective Teachers Initiative. Tampa, FL: Hillsborough County Public Schools.

Marietta, G.E., Brookover, E. (2011). Effectively educating PreK-3rd English language learners (ELLs) in Montgomery County Public Schools. New York: Foundation for Child Development.

Marietta, G.E. (2010). Lessons in early learning: Building an integrated PreK-12 system in Montgomery County Public Schools. Pew Center on the States Education Reform Series. Washington DC: Pew Center on the States.

Marietta, G.E. (2010). PreK-3rd: How Superintendents lead change. Foundation for Child Development Policy to Action Brief. New York: Foundation for Child Development.

Marietta, G.E. (2010). Lessons for PreK-3rd from Montgomery County Public Schools. New York: Foundation for Child Development.

Teaching Materials

Johnson, S.M., Kim, J-H., Marietta, G.E., Faller, S.E., & Noonan, J. (2013). Career pathways, performance pay, and peer review promotion in Baltimore City Public Schools. Harvard University Public Education Leadership Project Case PEL-071. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

Kim, J-H., Marietta, G.E., & Wheeler, A. (2013). Note on charter schools. Harvard Business School Case 313-104. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

Marietta, G.E. (2011). The unions in Montgomery County Public Schools. S.M. Johnson (Ed.), Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.

Marietta, G.E. (2011). Performance management in Chicago Public Schools. L.H. Spence (Ed.), Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.

Johnson, S.M., & Marietta, G.E. (2011). Central Falls High School. Harvard University Public Education Leadership Project Case PEL-068. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

Grossman, A.S., Higgins, M., Brookover E., & Marietta, G.E. (2011). Meeting new challenges at the Aldine Independent School District (B). Harvard University Public Education Leadership Project Case PEL-067. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

Childress, S., & Marietta, G.E. (2009). Investing in early learning as economic development at the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank. Harvard Business School Case 309-090. Boston. Harvard Business School Press.

Childress, S., & Marietta, G.E. (2009). Invest early: Early childhood development in a rural community. Harvard Business School Case 309-089. Boston: Harvard Business School
Press.

Childress, S.,& Marietta, G.E. (2009). College Summit: Rethinking the relationship between growth and impact. Harvard Business School Case 309-088. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

Grossman, A.S., & Marietta, G.E. (2009). Montgomery County Business Roundtable for Education. Harvard Business School Case 309-105 (Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2009).

Groysberg, B., Marietta, G.E., Marshall, T., & Hartley, A. (2009). Sanctuary Soft: International expansion strategies. Harvard Business School Case 409-104. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

Childress, S., & Marietta, G.E. (2008). A problem-solving approach to designing and implementing a strategy to improve performance. Harvard University Public Education Leadership Project Note PEL-056. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

Childress, S., Marietta, G.E., & Suchman, S. (2008). Boston Teacher Residency: Developing a strategy for long-term impact. Harvard Business School Case 309-043. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

Groysberg, B., & Marietta, G.E. (2008). Sanford C. Bernstein: The fork in the road (B). Harvard Business School Case 409-008. Boston. Harvard Business School Press.

Johnson, S.M., & Marietta, G.E. (2008). Taking human resources seriously in Minneapolis. Harvard University Public Education Leadership Project Case PEL-055. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

Groysberg, B., Marietta, G.E., & Manchel, S. (2007). Don Jenkins: Resigning from the firm. Harvard Business School Case 408-094. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

Childress, S., Marietta, G.E., & Mahon, J. (2008). SchoolNet: Pursuing opportunity beyond federal mandates. Harvard Business School Teaching Note 809-039. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

Groysberg, B., & Marietta, G.E. (2008). Financial leadership in Novartis consumer health business. Harvard Business School Teaching Note 409-005. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

Childress, S., Marietta, G.E., & Mahon, J. (2007). Wireless Generation. Harvard Business School Teaching Note 309-028. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

Healy, P.M., Groysberg, B., & Marietta, G.E. (2007). Prudential Securities. Harvard Business School Teaching Note 108-027. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

Groysberg, B., Abrahams, R., & Marietta, G.E. (2007). The roller coaster ride: The resignation of a star. Harvard Business School Teaching Note 407-100. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

Groysberg, B., & Marietta, G.E. (2006). Furman Selz LLC (A) and (B): A tale of two acquisitions. Harvard Business School Teaching Note 407-078. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

Groysberg, B., & Marietta, G.E. (2006). Recruitment of a star. Harvard Business School Teaching Note 407-081. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

Groysberg, B., & Marietta, G.E. (2006). Sanford C. Bernstein: The fork in the road. Harvard Business School Teaching Note 409-006, Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

PEER REVIEWED CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS

Marietta, G.E., Marietta, S.H., Smith, A., & Brosi, E. (under review). The intersection of education and high tech industry in rural Appalachia.

Marietta, G.E., Ibekwe, N., Viola, J., Claremon, J., & Gehlbach, H. (under review). Improving relationships through virtual environments: How seeing the world through victims’ eyes may prevent bullying.

Marietta, G.E., Ibekwe, N., Viola, J., Claremon, J., & Gehlbach, H. (August, 2014). Improving relationships through virtual environments: How seeing the world through victims’ eyes may prevent bullying. Poster presented at the American Psychological Association Conference, Washington, DC.

Marietta, G.E., Brooks, J., Hahn, E., Xu, M., Dede, C., & Gehlbach, H. (July, 2013). Encouraging compromise through perspective taking in virtual simulations. Poster presented at the American Psychological Association Conference, Honolulu, Hl.

Marietta, G.E., Brooks, J., Hahn, E., Xu, M., Dede, C., & Gehlbach, H., Hunter. (June, 2013). Fostering relationships with others through virtual and imaginative role taking. Presentation at the Social Computational Systems Conference. University of Washington, Seattle, WA.

Marietta, G.E. (2013, April). Applying loose-coupling theory to the study of district-school relations. Paper Roundtable Presentation at the American Educational Research Association Conference, San Francisco, CA.

Marietta, G.E., King, A., Hahn, E., Dede, C., & Gehlbach, H. (2013, April). Improving negotiation outcomes through virtual and imaginative role-taking. Poster Presentation at the American Educational Research Association Conference. San Francisco, CA.

Marietta, G.E., Gomez, C., & Kauerz, K. (2012, April). Aligned PreK and 3rd grade systems: Comparative case studies of a suburban and rural school district in Washington. Paper Presentation at the American Educational Research Association Conference. Vancouver, Canada.

Marietta, G.E., Gehlbach, H., King, A., Pritt, J., & Dede, C. (2012, April). Social perspective taking and similarity in virtual negotiations. Paper Presentation at the American Educational Research Association Conference. Vancouver, Canada.

Gehlbach, H., Marietta, G.E., King, A., Pritt, J., & Dede, C. (2012, April). Virtually social negotiations. Poster Presentation at the International Conference on Interpersonal Relationships in Education. Vancouver, Canada. Awarded Best Poster.

Marietta, G.E., & Gehlbach, H. (2011, June). Social aspects of immersive learning: Exploring perspective taking in a multi-user virtual environment. Poster Presentation at the Social Computational Systems Conference. University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.

Marietta, G.E. (2011, April). A school district and its unions solving problems together: Finding common ground through meaningful and interdependent goals. Paper Presentation at the New England Educational Research Organization, New Bedford, MA

Marietta, G.E. (2010, May). Improving interorganizational collaboration in public education: A look at superordinate goals and social perspective taking. Roundtable presented at the New England Educational Research Organization, Portsmouth, NH.

Marietta, G.E. (2010, April). Structures for school district and union collaboration: A case study of Montgomery County Public Schools. Paper Presentation at the Harvard Graduate School of Education Student Research Conference, Cambridge, MA.

INVITED TALKS

Marietta, G.E. (2014, May). Employee and customer engagement in education. Montgomery County Business Roundtable for Education and Montgomery County Public Schools. Rockville, MD.

Marietta, G.E. (2012, March). Social perspective taking and similarity in virtual negotiations. Invited presentation for Education Policy, Leadership, and Instructional Practice Seminar Series. Harvard Graduate School of Education. Cambridge, MA.

Marietta, G.E. (2012, February). Labor-management-community collaboration in Springfield Public Schools. Invited presentation for Rennie Center’s Labor-Management Initiative. Omni-Parker House Hotel, Boston, MA.


Title

Geoff Marietta

Alt. Title

Geoff E. Marietta ; Geoff Eckman Marietta ;

Identifier

https://pinemountainsettlement.net/?page_id=19253

Creator

Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY

Alt. Creator

Ann Angel Eberhardt ; Helen Hayes Wykle ;

Subject Keyword

Geoff Marietta ; Geoff E. Marietta ; Geoff Eckman Marietta ; Pine Mountain Settlement School ; executive directors ; Burton and Mary Rogers ; Connie (Fearington) Brosi ; teachers ; economic development ; resource conservation ; Mesabi Iron Range ; iron mining ; University of Montana ; work study ; special education ; Navajo Nation ; Western New Mexico University ; Harvard University ; education ; technology ; leadership ; Giant Otter Technologies ; Appalshop ; video games ; collaboration ; Skyler (Brosi) Marietta ; Chapel ; sustainable agriculture ; ecology ; preservation of folk traditions ; outreach ; Big Log ; Harlan, KY ; Hibbing, MN ; Missoula, MT ; Silver City, NM ; Cambridge, MA ; Whitesburg, KY ;

Subject LCSH

Marietta, Geoff Eckman.
Pine Mountain Settlement School (Pine Mountain, Ky.) — History.
Harlan County (Ky.) — History.
Education — Kentucky — Harlan County.
Rural schools — Kentucky — History.
Schools — Appalachian Region, Southern.

Date

2015-03-14

Publisher

Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY

Contributor

n/a

Type

Collections ; text ; image ;

Format

Original and copies of documents and correspondence in file folders in filing cabinet

Source

Series

Language

English

Relation

Is related to: Pine Mountain Settlement School Collections, Series 07: Directors.

Coverage Temporal

1968 – 2015

Coverage Spatial

Pine Mountain, KY ; Harlan County, KY ; Harlan, KY ; Hibbing, MN ; Missoula, MT ; Silver City, NM ; Cambridge, MA ; Whitesburg, KY ;

Rights

Any display, publication, or public use must credit the Pine Mountain Settlement School. Copyright retained by the creators of certain items in the collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Donor

Description

Core documents, correspondence, writings, and administrative papers of Geoff Marietta ; clippings, photographs, books by or about Geoff Marietta ;

Acquisition

n/d

Citation

“[Identification of Item],” [Collection Name] [Series Number, if applicable]. Pine Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers. Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY.

Processed By

Helen Hayes Wykle ; Ann Angel Eberhardt ;

Last Updated

2015-03-14 aae ; 2015-03-19 hhw ; 2015-03-22 aae ; 2019-03-01 hhw

Bibliography

Sources

Application letter and attachments from Geoff Marietta to Members of the (PMSS) Board of Trustees, 11 September 2014. Series 7: Directors. Pine Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers. Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY. Archival resource.

“United States Public Records, 1970-2009,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/23W5-YPP : accessed 15 March 2015). Internet resource.

Selected Publications 

“Doc Student Awarded NSF Grant”‘ Graduate School of Education News, Harvard, January 10, 2014. [http://www.gse.harvard.edu/news/14/01/doc-student-awarded-nsf-grant] Internet resource.

“THE GAME OF BULLYING PREVENTION”, By Iman Rastegari , Graduate School of Education News, Harvard, 02/20/2014
[http://www.gse.harvard.edu/news/14/02/game-bullying-prevention] Internet resource.

Johnson, S.M. Marietta, G.E., Higgins, M.C., Mapp, K., & Grossman, A. (2015 in press). Managing the central office-school relationship for success. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press. Print.

Marietta, Geoff. Applying Loose Coupling Theory to the Study of District-School Relations. 2013. Print.

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