Return to Headlines

Introducing Incoming Principal Samuel Martinez!

We are pleased to announce the selection of a new Principal at McDowell Elementary School: Samuel Martinez, who will assume his duties July 1, 2020. 

Samuel started his career in education at La Escuelita in Oakland, California, where he was a site coordinator, providing after-school tutoring support and encouraging students to set goals for higher education. Samuel then became a teacher in Oakland Unified, where he taught third, fourth, and fifth-grade students. During this time, Samuel co-founded Esperanza, a dual-language program designed to empower students through community outreach and multicultural instruction. 

After eight years in the classroom, Samuel became a Districtwide Math Coordinator in Oakland Unified, where he coordinated elementary mathematics for more than sixty (60) schools. Samuel facilitated teacher professional development, trained math teacher leads and coaches, and developed District benchmark assessments and curriculum guides. 

After being recruited by Fresno Unified School District, Samuel continued his work as a mathematics cognitive coach in two elementary schools. While in Fresno, Samuel provided professional development, coached teachers and principals, modeled lessons, provided feedback and opportunities for reflection, disaggregated data, strengthened teachers’ knowledge of content standards and mathematics instruction, developed curriculum, provided mathematics parent literacy workshops, and provided a foundation for research based strategies for equity and student achievement.

Samuel then moved into a Mathematics / ELD / Literacy coaching position, assigned to Rowell Elementary School. While there, Samuel continued his work facilitating the Cycle of Continuous Improvement, strengthening teachers’ content knowledge for standards based balanced mathematics, supported the English Language Development program, and literacy instruction. I spoke with his principal at the time who commented that Samuel is one of the smartest people she has ever known who helped Rowell Elementary achieve triple-digit gains through his laser sharp focus on 6 - 8-week action plans in both ELA and Mathematics. She went on to comment that Samuel is personable and the first one to jump in and sit side-by-side with teachers and administrators in order to support students. 

Most recently, Samuel has been both a Manager II and Director of Instruction in the Fresno Unified School District, where Samuel supports department leaders with projects through Data, Research, and Analysis of District-Wide Patterns and trends to guide decision making and equity-based actions. Samuel leads the instructional division data team, facilitates professional learning for leaders and department teams, and leads Improvement Science actions in the area of Mathematics.

Samuel received his Bachelor’s of Arts degree from UC Berkeley in Political Science, his Master’s of Arts from Harvard University, and is expecting to complete his Doctorate in Education from UC Berkeley in May of 2020. 

Samuel is fluent in Spanish, has strong analytical and writing skills, has a deep sense of equity, and a strong passion for working with elementary-aged scholars. Throughout the interview process, Samuel painted a compelling picture of a high functioning elementary school: full of art, music, multiculturalism, multilingualism, student, staff, and community engagement, and high levels of rigor and academic achievement. Samuel shared that he is thrilled to be joining the McDowell Elementary School and was drawn to their mascot, the monarch, symbolizing the strength of migration and a celebration of diversity.

Samuel will be relocating to Sonoma County with his wife, Laura Alamillo, and three young children named Paz Martinez Alamillo, Paulo Martinez Alamillo, and Valentina Martinez Alamillo. Congratulations and welcome to Petaluma City Schools, Mr. Samuel Martinez!