Claudia Martinez, PhD., received the award for Best Example of Teacher and Student Wellbeing Programs at the 2022 Tech and Learning Innovative Leader Summit.
Martinez is a ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages) teacher at North Tattnall Middle School (NTMS) in Reidsville. She also is an adjunct professor at Georgia Southern University (GSU), where she teaches cultural diversity and ESOL. During the summit, Martinez was able to lead a session on Teacher and Student Wellbeing Programs to leaders from all around Georgia.
NTMS Principal Donny Sikes appreciates Martinez and her hard work and dedication to her subject.
“As soon as Martinez joined NTMS, she began sharing ideas on how the school could enrich the school culture and appreciation for diversity; the result was the best Hispanic Heritage Month North Tattnall Middle School has ever had,” Sikes said. “She shared ideas about how important it was for students to see themselves in the curriculum and in what students read and that has helped advance our literacy initiative. She adapted quickly to the switch from teaching elementary students to teaching middle school students, as well as various other leadership tasks that I have thrown at her as she pursues her leadership certification.”
Martinez is the 2020 Georgia Teachers of ESOL Teacher of the Year, a member of the Georgia Teachers of ESOL Board, and a valued member of the Continuous Improvement Team. She is an advocate for her students’ academic success and a champion for encouraging post-secondary education, evidenced by her most recent plan to take NTMS ESOL students to visit the new STEM lab at Georgia Southern.
She is a member of the Georgia Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (GALAS). GALAS President Nury Castillo Crawford nominated Martinez for this award.
“She feels it is important to have students see the college campus and introduce them to Latino professors in hopes that they will see her and the professors and say, ‘If she could do it, I can do it too.’ Martinez recently worked with her students to publish a class book. The title of this book is Untold Immigrant Stories: Multilingual student experience in the United States,” Crawford said. “An investment in Martinez is an investment in the students she serves and impacts.”