Beverly Martinez

In 1982, Beverly graduated with her degree in education and went in search of a job. Every district she called in the Salt Lake area said they were only interviewing people with experience. It was suggested that she go to rural Utah, get a year of experience and come back. She was hired at Wellington Elementary, fully intending to teach one year and head back to Salt Lake. She met her husband, Mike Martinez, and they got married the day after school got out that first year. She started teaching in the old pink school on Main Street and moved into the new school when it was completed. Beverly says she is indebted to her unofficial mentor, Janice Spillman, who helped her survive those first years teaching.

After stepping out of the district to stay home with a new baby she didn’t want to go back to full time work. Her friend, Marla Marshall, told her that the Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind was searching for someone to work as a parent advisor and do home visits with visually impaired kiddos age birth-5. Beverly recalls saying “I don’t know anything about blind babies”, and they said that’s okay, we will train you. This was her first step into special education. She received her endorsement from the U as a teacher of the visually impaired while working for USDB, and later completed her Master’s Degree in special education from USU. She says she will never forget wandering around Salt Lake blindfolded with a cane to learn orientation and mobility and also learning braille.

She had 2 visually impaired twins on her caseload whose mom had decided to enroll them in Head Start. She went to school with them once a week to consult and help them be successful in the Head Start program. Halfway through the year, Beverly was hired by Head Start as a Disabilities coordinator. Her main role was to collaborate and write interagency agreements with 9 rural school districts to provide special education services to Head Start children. Working with Tom Roush, Carbon School District was the first district that she was able to get a signed agreement with, and the others followed shortly.

Later she was hired as the Early Head Start director when RUCD got a new federal grant to serve children prenatal - 3 years old. She set up the Early Head Start program in Carbon, Grand, Emery and San Juan counties. Head Start opened up a variety of opportunities that she has cherished in her career. For 16 years she worked as a consultant 3 -4 weeks a year doing performance reviews on programs across the country to determine compliance with the federal Head Start performance standards. She reviewed programs in Napa California to NYC and many places in between. One of her more interesting experiences was visiting an orthodox Jewish program in Westchester County, New York. They separated boys and girls into different buildings, and weren’t too sure that she could go into the boys classrooms. It was finally decided they would cover her head to toe with a large hooded cape so that she could complete her observations. She states that she has met many wonderful people across the country while doing Head Start performance reviews.

During her career she also enjoyed a few side jobs. She worked as a grant reviewer and spent many summer weeks in Washington D.C reading and scoring grants for the Dept of Health and Human Services. (Now this is all done virtually). She also taught some classes at the college for several years under a grant they had to provide training for child care providers.

She decided to come back to the school district for better benefits, and accepted a job as the transitional kindergarten teacher at the Castle Valley Center. She states it was a joy to help kids who struggle to learn because of their disabilities. Each of her little students holds a forever place in her heart. About 20 years ago, Beverly was hired as the preschool coordinator. At that time preschool was mostly at Castle Valley Center, and most of the state only had SPED preschools. She wrote start up grants and obtained funding to start first Creekview preschool, then Wellington, and then Sally Mauro. She is proud to say we are fully compliant with state targets, including LRE. In the final performance review this year, preschool received the highest scores. Beverly states she is most proud of the many children who have received a wonderful preschool experience and entered kindergarten loving school and ready to learn. She states that it has been a pleasure and an honor to work with the youngest children in Carbon School District. She also states that it has been an absolute pleasure to work with the best preschool teachers anywhere and the best SPED team headed by Amy Bell, from whom she has learned so much!

She is now turning her time and attention to her family and is very excited to help with childcare for her favorite little people on the planet... Emmeline, Cameron, Madison and Hannah. She says thank you, Carbon School District, for this wonderful career.

Carbon School District wishes her well as she embarks on a new journey! Thank you for your service to the students of the district.