|Kelly Martinez is the new principal of Wellington Elementary.|
If there is a school within the confines of Carbon School School District that Kelly Martinez has not worked or attended, then she just hasn't had that opportunity. Now having been named the new principal this year at Wellington Elementary, she has added one more to her list.
"Let's see," she said as she thought sitting at the desk that was Greg Maughn's last school year. " I guess I haven't worked at Sally Mauro or Creekview, but I've been pretty much everywhere else."
A native of Carbon County, Martinez spent her years in school going to Durrant Elementary, Mont Harmon Junior High and then Carbon High. She then went on to the College of Eastern Utah and then got a bachelors degree in education from Utah State University.
"It was interesting because even though I got my degree from Utah State I never stepped a foot on the campus in Logan until my graduation day. All my college years were spent at CEU or at USU extension," she stated.
Most recently Martinez was a teacher at Castle Heights, but last spring she was named to the position at Wellington and when school starts she will be greeting the kids coming through the door.
"I have just about learned all the teachers names and put them with faces," she said. "Now it's time to put kids names and faces together as well."
Martinez has two master degrees; one from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas (curriculum and instruction) and one in educational administration from the University of Phoenix.
Most of her career has been spent working in Carbon School District, but for five years she did work in the Clark County School District in southern Nevada. It was while there that she obtained that masters from UNLV and at the same time her husband got into education as well getting a degree from the school.
"At the end of that five years we decided we wanted to come back home and things just worked out," explained the Wellington principal. "The district had two teaching job openings that fit each of us in the same year. That doesn't happen very often."
Getting her masters in educational administration was another unique experience, said Martinez.
"I never stepped foot in a classroom," she said. "In fact I never personally met one of my classmates or any of my instructors. We did talk a little on the phone, but it was all done online."
She said it was a great experience because she had people from all over the United States in her on-line class and in fact there were also some from outside the country as well.
Besides teaching in Las Vegas and in many Carbon County schools, she also spent one year teaching at Notre Dame (1988) and four years at Pinnacle Canyon Academy.
This year, Martinez says, it looks like about 420 students are going to be attending Wellington Elementary. She said, with that many kids, she cannot do what Melissa Hamilton at Petersen Elementary, where she taught last year, does (visit every student's home and meet their parents before school starts). But she did say high priority on her list is to learn every name and every face that is in her school.
Wellington Elementary will also be a reading first school this year. The school has received a grant to focus on every student K-3 to be reading at a third grade level by the time they are in that grade. Teachers in those grades are getting special instruction in how to help kids read.
"That's our biggest goal this year," stated Martinez. "Reading is the basis for everything anyone does and if they can't read they can't be successful at anything."
One of Martinez's other goals is for Wellington Elementary to become a Gold Medal School.
"We have not been one and I want to see us promote and adopt healthy lifestyles here," she said. "That means the staff and teachers need to model those behaviors so the kids have people to look up to concerning those kinds of issues."