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Martinez named finalist for national award

national San Antonio ISD Superintendent Pedro Martinez has been named as a finalist for the Green-Garner Award from the Council of the Great City Schools. The Green-Garner Award is the nation's highest urban education honor, recognizing outstanding contributions in urban education. Nominees for the award are judged on their attributes in five key areas: leadership, achievement, public confidence, professionalism, and involvement. The winner will be announced in mid-October.


The Green-Garner Award, given to a superintendent every other year, is presented in memory of Richard R. Green, the first African-American chancellor of the New York City school system, and businessman Edward Garner, who served on the Denver school board. Martinez is one of twenty finalists from across the nation. 


Pedro Martinez joined San Antonio ISD as superintendent in June 2015. Under his leadership, the District is seeing improved graduation and college-going rates, as well as expanded access to rigor. Innovative schools have been developed and launched providing new models of education. In addition, strong academic programs in existing schools have been expanded to provide high-quality choice for families.

Martinez remains involved in education reform and is frequently invited to speak on the topic. He is a member of Chiefs for Change, a nonprofit, bipartisan network of diverse state and district education chiefs.


Martinez also serves on the boards of the Southern Regional Education Board, The Council of Greater City Schools, the Masters Leadership Program of Greater San Antonio, the P16Plus Council of Greater Bexar County, the United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County, and is an ex-officio board member of The Dee Howard Foundation. Martinez also participates in the Trinity University Superintendents Forum and is a member of the UTSA President’s Downtown Campus Advisory Council.


In the spring of 2020, Bexar County and City of San Antonio leaders named Martinez to their COVID-19 Economic Transition Team, which was tasked with guiding a safe reintroduction of business and activities suspended in the region as a result of a global pandemic. The economic transition team comprised CEOs, entrepreneurs and local leaders.

 On July 4, 2020, the Carnegie Corporation of New York named him to their annual list of Great Immigrants, Great Americans for his leadership of the District during the pandemic.

Before coming to SAISD, Martinez was Superintendent-in-Residence for the Nevada Department of Education and was responsible for advising the Governor’s office and the State Superintendent of Instruction on education policy decisions. Prior to that, he served as superintendent for the 64,000-student Washoe County School District, covering the Reno, Nevada area.


He also previously served as Chief Financial Officer at Chicago Public Schools, the nation’s third-largest school district, under the leadership of Arne Duncan, the former U.S. Secretary of Education.


Martinez has more than 20 years of experience in the private, nonprofit and public education sectors. He holds an M.B.A. from DePaul University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He also is a graduate of the Broad Superintendents Academy.


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