Mr. Peter Martinez is no “newbie” to administration. In fact, his long administrative history, love for his community, and all-around good attitude made him the perfect candidate to take over for Dr. Bobbie Turnbo when she announced her retirement. Here’s our Q&A session:
BT: What’s your greeting for MacArthur?
Martinez: I just want to give them all a big smile. I think I’m more excited about it than the kids are! This is a great opportunity, these are great kids, and this is an awesome campus. Last year I came to all the Mac games and we have such a great spirit. I’m more than glad to be here.
BT: Last year’s mission statement was “Simply the Best”, what’s this year’s?
Martinez: This year’s mission statement is “We Are One”. I strongly believe that every kid matters and that there is no child who shouldn’t make it, ever. Our goal is that every kid succeeds, every kid goes to college— that every kid fulfills their dreams! I’ve been able to live out my dreams. Mac is the culmination of that.
BT: There’s a rumor going around campus that you’re in Karate?
Martinez: Well, I have over 40 years of experience, but recently I’ve been doing Tai Chi. I competed in Plano over the summer where I received 2 Gold medals and 3 Silver medals.
BT: Have you ever used your skills to break up a fight?
Martinez: (laughing) No, I’ve never had to break up a fight. Tai Chi is about thinking, not about hurting people. It’s about challenging yourself and asking, “how do I get control of who I am?” A good martial artist doesn’t use skills on others, they use their mind and their heart more than their hands.
BT: What’s it like following up on Dr. Turnbo?
Martinez: It’s hard to follow up on Dr. Turnbo! I respect her greatly and we’re great friends. My goal is to take it another step; create a more unified campus, where it doesn’t matter from where you come from, whether it be Garner, Bradley, Driscoll, Redland Oaks— you are a Brahma.
BT: What are the changes being implemented this school year?
Martinez: I want to honor traditions but gradually add things in. We have lots of traditions here at MacArthur, including the Brahma March, Meet The Brahmas, etc. An educational goal for me is to identify kids early and start planning for their development in Elementary School, carry that out into college, work, etc.
BT: Well, we are teenagers.. And we do love gossip, tell us about your family life!
Martinez: I had six siblings growing up. It was tough, but great. We were close by necessity! I grew up in a two-bedroom home in the South of San Antonio and graduated from Brackenridge High School. I attended Trinity University after that, so I’m a real San Antonio kid. I’ve also been married for 26 years! My wife works at USAA. We don’t have children, but we dedicate ourselves to helping kids— wherever they are. I love what I do, 17-18 years ago I never would have seen myself here. I was a psychotherapist, added on post-collegiate education, and became a Vice-Principal at Roosevelt then the Principal at Driscoll. I learn from every kid I meet.
BT: What about your Background/Heritage?
Martinez: Well, I’m Hispanic, and there’s a lot of tradition that goes into that because of my family. I love San Antonio! My parents taught us to be proud of who we are, to work hard, and that there was NO replacement for hard work and a strong work ethic. I was a big departure from my parents. They had a very limited education. My dad had a 4th grade education; my mom had an 8th grade education. Back in their days, getting their GED wasn’t a big deal. The fact that I went to college was a bid deal… I didn’t realize that until later. It was important for me to carry on their legacy of hard work and pride in being Hispanic, living in San Antonio, and working in North East ISD! I’m also proud of my American heritage. The opportunities afforded to us here are incomparable… Everything that I’ve done.. I’m just very, very grateful.
BT: What’s the biggest lesson you’ve ever been taught by your kids?
Martinez: “Shut up and listen every once in a while.” I realized one day that I wasn’t really listening and what I thought was important, was. Sometimes you need to tell me what I need to say. The most important thing is to listen to what people have to say.
BT: Do you have any closing messages to our readers?
Martinez: My door is open and I’m here to serve! I strongly believe in servant leadership and doing whatever I can. This’ll be a great year!