Higher Education and Human Resources

NHA names new director of instruction and curriculum

April 7, 2014
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Roberto Martinez
Martinez

A West Michigan-based charter school network is bringing in a former Texas prep administrator to serve in a leadership role.

National Heritage Academies, a charter school management company headquartered in Grand Rapids, has hired Roberto Martinez as its director of curriculum and instruction.

Martinez, former senior director of academics at YES Prep Public Schools, said the new position at NHA will provide significant opportunities for him to learn and grow as a professional.

“I had tremendous excitement about the opportunity,” said Martinez. “NHA is an organization that is focused on being the best educational choice for parents in their community and is very innovative in always looking for ways to create the best system that support all of their schools. I am privileged to work with such an outstanding team of professionals.”

Todd McKee, vice president of school quality at NHA, said Martinez’s success at YES Prep is impressive.

“His experience and quality leadership skills will be an asset at NHA and we are excited to have him join the curriculum team,” said McKee.

At YES Prep, a Texas-based charter school network, Martinez implemented a curriculum plan for the entire system that incorporated college readiness standards and Advanced Placement courses. The network, which has a 99 percent minority population, reported higher than national average scores as a result.

“In the education world, successful standardization of curriculum and assessment in a large school system is something that is easy to say, but very hard to accomplish,” said Martinez. “To ensure every student receives consistently the same high-quality education — in other words, to maximize student achievement — charter organizations and school districts need to create systems around curriculum, assessments and instruction that everyone implements effectively.”

Partnering with local school boards, NHA builds and manages public charters schools, and is present in nine different states. NHA said it serves more than 50,000 students in 76 schools and ranks in the top 25 percent of U.S. schools for academic growth.

As director of instruction and curriculum, Martinez will oversee the development for programs in all NHA schools and lead the 18-member instructional professional team at the charter school management’s main offices. Citing student preparation for college readiness as a long term goal for the organization, Martinez said the curriculum and instruction team play a critical role.

“We impact the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ of student learning by providing the curricular resources teachers use and supporting their effective implementation,” said Martinez. He went on to say his past experience as a teacher and then as senior director will be an asset as he begins leading a new initiative at NHA implementing new curricular tools that include common assessments.

“NHA schools are small communities with a great family atmosphere,” said Martinez. “We care about our students and we want to be the school of choice for their parents.”

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