Always open to educational innovations that might benefit children, Marion H. Martinez’s administrative and teaching career spans nearly four decades. She currently serves as Associate Commissioner for Teaching, Learning, and Instructional Leadership in the Connecticut Department of Education, and teaches at Central Connecticut State University as a member of the adjunct faculty. As part of her responsibilities as a state educator, Marion H. Martinez develops guidelines for teachers in Connecticut by chairing the Performance Evaluation Advisory Council.
Several of her recent efforts as Associate Commissioner have focused on securing federal funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (2009) signed by President Obama in 2009. Dr. Martinez authored a white paper on potential uses for ARRA funding, and gave other presentations on the legislation’s impact. Marion H. Martinez also joined the External Stakeholders Committee for ARRA and the Steering Committee that drew up Connecticut’s application for funding under the act. Other teams on which she serves include the education department’s Next Generation of Accountability Initiative, the Common Core State Standards Initiative, and the Secondary School Reform Initiative.
For five years before her appointment to her statewide post, Marion H. Martinez led the East Harford Public School District as its Superintendent. There, she implemented a full-day kindergarten program and an Early Intervention Reading Program for first graders deemed potentially at risk. She also overhauled the district’s approach to serving high school dropouts. When an East Hartford city councilman suggested stocking barbershops with books to entertain kids while their families waited for a haircut, Dr. Martinez responded enthusiastically. At her direction, the school district bought racks and books to stock them, and established Books for Barbers. The originators of the initiative proposed to do the same at women’s hair salons under the title Books for Beauties.
Active as a member of the American Association of School Administrators, Marion H. Martinez also participates in professional events such as the 14th annual New England Conference on Multicultural Education in 2009.