Mr. Martinez — Servant Leader

Friday I volunteered at Boston Valley Elementary School in the First Grade classroom of Dara Watkins. It was my first classroom experience since retiring in August. I read the students “Harold and the Purple Crayon,” which was one of the first books I read and remains one of my favorites. Upon arriving at Boston Valley I parked my car, picked up my shopping bag of beanie babies my wife had donated to the cause and a pumpkin I purchased as a class gift along the route of travel. I walked to the entrance of the school and got “buzzed in,” by the elementary secretary, signed in and was directed toward Dara’s classroom. In the hall I met a tall, well dressed gentleman. I said, “are you the principal?” He responded, “no, I’m the custodian here.” I’m naive, so I took him at his word as he escorted me to Dara’s classroom. I said, “I worked as a custodian and school bus driver for eight years prior to earning my bachelors degree and becoming a teacher.” Immediately we had something in common and I felt welcome here at Boston Valley. Later when talking with Dara I learned that my custodial escort was in fact Mr. Martinez, the school’s principal. I also learned from Dara and my wife that this wonderful man had given her $100 to buy school supplies. Servant leaders always empower those they serve and Mr. Martinez is one of those rare individuals who does exactly that. Dara, her colleagues, and the students of Boston Valley are blessed to have Mr. Martinez. Thanks for making my day and enriching all of our lives with your wonderful example.