New Teacher Prioritizes Diversity In Classroom

Lela Schlangen, Co-Editor

Mr. Martinez is Gloucester High School’s third, and most recent, choir director. Being such a new addition to the high school’s staff, he is a mystery to most. Martinez has an extensive history as a singer, but not as much as an educator, so what led him to teach? Martinez’s passion for music shines in his directing and thoughtful instruction. He is inclusive and advocates for musical education to “allow students to have a safe space to express themselves”.

Raised in the Bronx, New York, Martinez was brought up in a diverse and expressive environment. Martinez describes the Bronx as a “melting pot”, full of many different cultures, which contributed to the prioritizing of inclusivity and diversity in his classroom. He “[believes] everyone should be included”, which is why creativity should be nurtured in school; “everyone can relate to music”. So far, as a teacher, Martinez is vastly increasing fundraising events and community involvement, which were two goals he had first coming into educating. Confidence is also being promoted; he wants students to feel comfortable singing, and most importantly, to have fun while learning. Big changes are being made to the choir, but many believe they’re good changes. Martinez is modernizing the high school’s choir as well by doing songs that students can enjoy and get excited to sing. He became an educator because he “[enjoys] helping people and [making] people better” and many students, and fellow staff members alike, believe that’s just what he’s doing. Martinez is not only expanding his own musical horizon, but those of students as well by providing new opportunities to all.