Albion Interactive History / People / Martin Mitchell

Albion Interactive History

Albion Interactive History / People / Starr Commonwealth

Martin Mitchell
4th President Starr Commonwealth


Dr. Martin L. Mitchell serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Starr Commonwealth which provides state, national and international leadership to programs serving children, families, communities and professionals. Founded in 1913, Starr’s philosophy is rooted in seeing something good in every child, which serves as the guiding principle in its strength-based approach. In his nearly 40-year tenure, Dr. Mitchell has served as a youth care worker, teacher, program administrator, vice president, and in 2004 became the fourth president in Starr’s 97-year history. He has trained and written extensively in the areas of teamwork, leadership, and group dynamics. He served as Director of the XII World Congress of the International Association of Workers for Troubled Children held in New York City which involved participants from twenty-three countries. In addition, Dr. Mitchell frequently provides legislative testimony on behalf of youth, and is often interviewed by the media on topics impacting youth and families in today’s society. Marty is co-author of the books:

  • “Deep Brain Learning – Pathways to Potential for Challenging Youth”
  • “No Disposable Kids”
  • “In Whose Best Interest: One Child’s Odyssey, A Nation’s Responsibility”
  • “Connectedness, Continuity, Dignity and Opportunity: Principle-based Action for Kids”

In addition, he is a contributing author to the books: “Teamwork in Human Services” and “Re-educating Troubled Youth: Powerful Environments for Teaching and Treatment.” His professional affiliations are many and include serving on the boards of the International Association of Social Educators, the National Alliance for Children and Families, the Michigan Federation of Private Child and Family Agencies, the StarrVista Care Management Organization, and the National Resource Center for the Healing of Racism. Locally, Dr. Mitchell serves on the board of Monarch Community Bank. He and his wife, Shirlee, are the proud parents of three daughters and six grandchildren.

Source: Starr Commonwealth Website,, Accessed 9/25/2011.

Soon after he became president of Starr Commonwealth, Arlin Ness named Dr. Martin L. Mitchell to succeed him as VicePresident of Program. A graduate of Olivet College in Olivet, Michigan, he received his master’s degree fromPurdue University and his doctorate from Western Michigan University. Since joining the Commonwealth staff in 1970, “Marty”has served in a variety of educational and treatment positions. Like several of his colleagues, he and his wife Shirlee reside in nearby Marshall with their three daughters.

Source: Keith Fennimore. Faith Made Visible: The History of Floyd Starr and His School. Albion, Michigan: Starr Commonwealth. 1988.

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