Hector Martinez

Hector's Photos

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Meet Hector Martinez from Independence, Oregon

We are ending our Teachers’ Month with something fun – a climbing wall. Hector Martinez is starting his 5th year as a PE teacher at Henry Hill Elementary School in Independence, Oregon. He'll be receiving $15,000 for a custom climbing wall for his K-5 students, with their school colors, mascot, logos, and motivational slogans. Hector wants to give something back to the staff, parents, and students at the school for helping and supporting him both personally and professionally to become the person he is today.

His dream has always been to create a motivational PE program. “I would love to leave a piece of myself here as a token of my appreciation for everything this school and community has done for me,” wrote Hector in his application. “I would love to add this innovative dimension to my PE curriculum to find more ways to reach, inspire, and develop strong individual and leaders.”

Currently, there are 330 students enrolled and with each additional school year, a whole new crop of students will benefit from Hector’s gift.

Diary Starts Here

December 9, 2008
Well, the kids are using the new climbing wall and loving it! Hector says they support one another, encourage safety at all times, and like the authentic experiences it has brought them. Many of his other classes/grades are eager to climb as well although some are more ready than others. The teachers have also enjoyed climbing the wall. Many of them have shown their
pride for the new climbing wall and love the new addition. I have a feeling it's harder than it looks!

November 24, 2008
Great News! The climbing wall is up! Wow, that was fast! Hector sent us some fantastic photos of the new wall and some of the teachers who were testing it out. Check out these great pictures:

click the image to see a slideshow

October 8, 2008
We knew Hector was going to share his good news with all the students yesterday, but we didn't know he'd be doing it in such an exciting way. He put together an awesome power point presentation and I don't know when he even had time to put it all together. You've got to see this - it's really fantastic!

October 6, 2008
"You picked a very worthy recipient," said Independence Mayor John McArdle during my surprise phone call to Hector. The fact that the Mayor took time to be there for the call says a lot about Hector and how well he is regarded in the community. My surprise call was set up by Henry Hill Elementary Principal, Sharon Tebb, with a "meeting" in her office with the school superintendent about a bond measure. But in fact, Hector's wife, Michelle, who is also a teacher, was there along with a newspaper reporter, and the Assistant Superintendent of Schools, Jann Link-Jobe, who also reiterated how well respected Hector is by everyone.

Hector says he will move quickly to get the wall installed and told me it would be 10 feet high and 40 feet across with lots of motivational slogans and pictures of the kids. I can't wait to see a picture. Sharon told me that the students will be told about Hector's gift tomorrow morning during their all-school Morning Motion. According to Mayor McArdle, more than 300 students will directly benefit from Hector's gift.

10/02: Jenny & Damon wrote... "Congratulations on being a part of our special Teachers' Month and for providing something positive that your students and community are sure to love."

10/08: Van Holstad wrote... "Atta boy Hector."