Jacob Martinez stands at the Sierra Vista Unified School District offices in the Rothery Center Thursday. Martinez is the new public information officer for the district.

SIERRA VISTA — Jacob Martinez, the new public information officer for Sierra Vista Unified School District, expects to hit the ground running as he prepares to tell “all the amazing stories” that are happening in schools across the district.

Martinez, 42, was one of three candidates with strong resumes and qualifications for the recently vacated PIO position, according to SVUSD Superintendent Kelly Glass, who hired Martinez because of his extensive background in building community relationships.

“We are confident his knowledge and experience in this skill is key to helping the district further its relationship and partnerships with the Sierra Vista community, which is a main component of SVUSD’s educational philosophy,” said Glass, who noted that Martinez’s relationship building abilities “will ultimately be a positive contribution to the academic success and goals of our students.”

Martinez, who has lived in Sierra Vista for five years, comes to the area from his home state of Texas.

Born and raised in Lubbock, Martinez attended the Lubbock Independent School District and worked different jobs in Dallas and Houston after high school. He later moved to Oregan and, in 2005, enrolled in Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland to pursue an interest in policy work.

“I was in law school for three years, but lived in Oregon for six of those years,” said Martinez. “I graduated from Lewis and Clark in 2008.”

After arriving in this area about five years ago from Dallas, Texas, Martinez worked for Cochise County Health and Social Services as a program coordinator.

“I ran a program called Healthy Cochise where we worked to improve health outcomes for the entire county by taking public feedback through citizen-led committees,” he said.

“We used the community feedback to drive goals and encouraged citizen participation to help us implement what we were doing. The program was about community outreach, community engagement and community involvement.”

Some communities were interested in addressing the isolation of seniors, some wanted to increase physical activities, and others were concerned about adequate food access.

“It was rewarding to work with the different communities and address these concerns,” he said.

More recently, Martinez was a consultant for nonprofit organizations and government agencies.

“As a consultant, my job is to help the different organizations be more effective with the tools that they have to work with.”

He also helped the organizations with community engagement and leadership development.

Martinez officially started his new position with the school district on Jan. 2 and was introduced to the community at Tuesday’s SVUSD board meeting.

Martinez has two children enrolled in Palominas School District, both at Coronado Elementary School.

He has also been a member of the Canyon Vista Medical Center board of trustees since July 2017.

“I’m excited about being able to help tell all the amazing stories that are happening in Sierra Vista’s schools,” he said. “This district has excellent educators and incredible support staff, with everyone working together, focusing on student achievement and success.”

Martinez is replacing the district’s former public information officer, Rebecca Bentz, who submitted her resignation in December.

Superintendent Glass wrote the following emailed comment about the district’s new hire.

“We are very excited to have Jacob join the SVUSD team. He will be instrumental in informing our community about all the positive things happening in the district, to include success stories of our students and staff as well as projects and initiatives,” Glass said.

“We know Jacob brings a wealth of understanding and experience to the job and will be a valuable asset to SVUSD.”

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