Colorado Association of Latino/a Administrators and Superintendents LA LUZ DE LIDERAZO - A MEMBERSHIP SPOTLIGHT January 2022
Welcome to the CO ALAS Membership Spotlight. Each month we introduce you to one of our many CO ALAS members. Let’s see what they are doing and what’s on their mind! This month we are featuring Lisa Martinez, Principal, Hanson Elementary School, Adams 14 School District. Lisa shares her professional career and current bio below. You can read the diverse experiences that have led to her various leadership roles. One of our shining stars!
Career Highlights & EducationLisa Martinez is the proud Principal at Hanson Elementary School in Adams 14. Martinez served as an elementary classroom teacher, ESL teacher and coach for 11 years, and five years as Assistant Principal in an elementary and K-8 setting. Martinez holds a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communications from the University of Colorado-Boulder an M.A. in Education from the University of Denver. She also received her Principal licensure at DU. Martinez has always been an advocate for underrepresented communities. Before education, Martinez spent six years in print journalism as K-12 Education Reporter and Immigration/Cultural Affairs Reporter for several Colorado newspapers. She covered immigration and deportation hearings, as followed the migrant path through the Sonoran desert, where families crossed over for a better life. She also wrote about the unfair and unsafe practices in the fields where migrants worked 50-60 hours a week. Martinez has also spent time living and working in Latin American countries, where she supported and coached teachers through the U.S. Embassy. She also ran an English school in Colombia for children and adults. Martinez has a passion for working with English language learners and their families, ensuring that our students are both bilingual and biliterate by the time they finish school. It’s the perfect fit for Martinez to lead in a dual-language school, in which language and culture are part of everyday learning. Martinez aspires to be the leader who engages students, teachers and families, with the ultimate goal of student success! She is honored to continue her service in Adams 14 and with the Hanson community.
What is exciting about my job? It is exciting to see language and culture part of the everyday learning experience for every student at my school. It’s not just about academics, but also supporting the whole child. We work to ensure that our students and their families have the resources needed to succeed. A pandemic, language status or home life circumstances won’t hold us back; we support where needed and reach for the stars! It’s fun to see the students get so excited about learning! Words from a consejero/a: Listen first before making decisions. Get input from others and then decide. Get the right people in your circle. You cannot do everything, but if you have a strong team around you, a team that you trust and has the same vision as you have, you can accomplish so much.
Advice you would give a new superintendent or school leader: Stand up for what you believe in. If it’s something you truly believe in, stand by that. Trust in what you believe. Have the confidence to say something. For every highly-impacted decision, make sure to ask yourself if this is what’s truly best for your students.
If you catch me outside the office, you’ll find . . . me spending time with my family and traveling throughout Latin America, exploring new islands and being a beach bum speaking Spanish to the locals and being a part of the local culture. How does CO-ALAS add value? CO-ALAS has opened so many doors for me. I have been encouraged to speak and present at conferences, further developing my leadership style. I have been coached up and encouraged to apply for higher-level positions. My cup has been filled time and time again; CO-ALAS always encourages me to know my worth and know what I can provide to the school system. Being around so many like-minded people lets me know that I am not in this on my own; I have an entire team around me, cheering me on and sporting me in my career. Get involved! It’ll be worth it!