Jennifer Martin, former Principal of Valle Vista Elementary School, was promoted to Principal of Dartmouth Middle School at the Board meeting on July 19th. She replaced Eric Dahlstrom, who was recently promoted to principal of Tahquitz High School.
Mrs. Martin is beginning her 11th year in education and fifth year at Hemet Unified School District. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Studies and Masters of Educational Administration from California State University San Bernardino. She is enrolled in the Organizational Leadership doctoral program at Brandman University, which she plans to complete by November of this year.
Martin said she is excited about the transition from elementary to middle school. She plans on collaborating with her new team and focusing on ways to support the whole child. She believes in building effective strategies for students academically, socially, and emotionally. Her focus will be to continue to build programs that will support students in these three areas.
One of the main goals for staff members at Dartmouth is to advance to an AVID Demonstration School. Dartmouth currently offers nine sections of AVID and exceeds the required number of students enrolled in the program and currently has a waiting list of interested students. This year, members from RIMS (Riverside, Indio, Moreno Valley, and San Bernardino) AVID will attend site visits to ensure Dartmouth is prepared to become a demo school.
This school year, Dartmouth Middle School will receive a Math Coach and Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS) Student Prevention and Intervention Technician, providing additional assistance to Mrs. Martin’s goal of supporting the whole child. Martin believes the addition of a math coach will help school-wide. She wants to embed problem-solving techniques students learn in Math across the entire curriculum, increasing collaboration to prepare for college and career. She also believes the PBIS Intervention Specialist will be instrumental in supporting students’ social-emotion and behavioral needs to prepare them to be respectful citizens and effective communicators. Martin sees PBIS as a vehicle to teach expectations and help students thrive in all areas of education and life.
Mrs. Martin encourages students to become involved in their school through various programs offered at Dartmouth. She said participating in an extracurricular activity made her feel connected to her school. In middle school, she tried out for her school’s interim wrestling program. During lunch students would compete to become “King of the Mat.” Although she was the only girl involved, she was the reigning “King.” She competed in wrestling throughout her time in high school and explained it was her reason for coming to school. The wrestling team gave her a sense of community and life-long friendships.
“I want to be a resource and support to all students and staff,” said Martin, explaining that her wrestling coach inspired her and helped solidified her identity. “I want to be able to do that for my students.”