• Barbara Martinez is the new leader at two Pacific Grove school sites

    by Laura Emerson

    barbara martinezThe recent leadership vacancy at Forest Grove Elementary School provided District Superintendent Ralph Gómez Porras the opportunity to promote well-qualified District employees into new leadership roles. Barbara Martinez, previous assistant principal at Pacific Grove High School is now principal at the Pacific Grove Adult Education Center (AEC).

    “Barbara has been the consummate professional during her continued tenure in the Pacific Grove Unified School District,” said Porras. “In fact, she is a perfect example of ‘the lifelong learner’.”

    Born and raised in a small town in northern New Jersey, Martinez came to California to attended college. She knew since first grade that she wanted to be a teacher. After graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a BS in child development, she obtained her masters degree in educational administration from Azusa Pacific University. She worked her way through college as a preschool teacher while earning her multiple subject elementary credential. Upon graduation, she taught language arts for six years at a middle school, followed by four years as a middle school assistant principal, then ten years as a high school assistant principal – five of those years under the leadership of PGHS principal Matt Bell.

    Adult School principal is only one of Martinez’s new responsibilities. Sixty percent of her time is allocated to that Lighthouse Avenue campus, and thirty percent is allocated to being principal of the Community High School campus on David Avenue. At first glance, the two positions might seem dissimilar; but according to Martinez, they have much in common. “High school age students enrolled at the Adult School are working toward earning their GED or high school diploma,” she explained, “while students at Community High are also working towards earning their high school diplomas. Both campuses offer a smaller classroom setting which has flexibility and fits the needs of the individual learner” that is not always available at a comprehensive high school.

    “Barbara has a heart for students who struggle to fit into the traditional model of a high school, said High School Principal Matt Bell. “She truly wants them to succeed. She’s labored too long as ‘second in command.’ She has so much to offer and will do a terrific job leading Community High School as well as the Adult School.”

    Martinez is enthused by the diverse age range of her students: from the infants and toddlers at Parents Place (whose parents are really the students) to the thriving seniors in the older adult classes, and all ages in between. The challenge she inherited from the previous principal, Craig Beller, is the economic uncertainty of the adult education program that exists in every school district throughout the state.

    The remaining ten percent of Martinez’s work day involves her continuing role as director of district safety. She is responsible for the development, implementation and ongoing review of the district-wide comprehensive safety plan. Last school year, her request for iPads to be purchased for all school sites, for use by primary emergency responders, was approved. The iPads are on the list of technology equipment to be purchased after voter approval of Measure G.

    Early in his tenure as superintendent, Porras encouraged his leadership team to become members in the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA). Martinez credits ACSA with providing her multiple opportunities to stay informed with legislative policy as it relates to education. She is currently in her second year as Monterey charter president of ACSA as well as vice president for legislative action, a role that offers her the opportunity to meet with legislators in Sacramento and tell them firsthand about what is needed to provide a quality public education. “Her very active involvement in [ACSA],” commented Porras, “has also been of benefit to our School District, as she brings new innovations from her statewide networking resources. Barbara is a shining example of a student centered leadership, and we are very fortunate to have her on our team.”

    posted to Cedar Street Times on October 31, 2013

    Topics: Front PG News, Schools

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