FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 26, 2021
MCEA Welcomes Veteran Montgomery County Teacher Jennifer Martin as New Union President
ROCKVILLE, Md. –Thursday, the Montgomery County Education Association announced the installation of President Jennifer Martin, along with other newly elected union leaders.
“I am excited and honored to serve on behalf of our members as an advocate for the needs of Montgomery County’s educators and students. We have a unique opportunity to reset our overall approach to education in this county. It’s time to reinvest in our facilities and support programs for students and educators alike, said President Jennifer Martin. “MCEA values the lives of everyone we serve, and I’ll do everything in my power to ensure that teachers and students return to a safe and fulfilling in-person learning experience.”
President Martin is a Takoma Park, Maryland native and current resident who has served as MCEA vice president for six years. Prior to her election, she worked as an educator for 20 years in Montgomery County Public Schools, teaching English at Pyle and Takoma Park Middle Schools, and Wootton, Gaithersburg, and Watkins Mill High Schools.
As vice president, Martin struck a delicate balance between advocating for the safety of teachers and students and emphasizing the importance of meeting students’ educational needs in an unprecedented disruption to the normal classroom environment during the COVID-19 pandemic. She stressed the need to follow the science while formulating a plan to return to in-person learning and fought to ensure MCPS took a flexible approach that considered the varying needs of students, teachers, and staff.
President Martin plans to prioritize equitable and adequate school funding and to advocate for opportunities that foster creativity in both teaching and learning. In her new role, Martin will push for a restructuring of the salary scale to attract a more diverse workforce and to meet the requirements of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future to bring top talent to the field by raising teachers’ salaries. Martin also emphasizes the importance of ensuring Montgomery County Schools invest in the necessary staffing, resources and time for students to have more instruction in the creative arts and physical education.
To fulfill her vision for education in Montgomery County, President Martin wants to focus on a child-centered approach to education. She will continue to encourage the district to trust in educators rather than relying on the increasing prevalence of rigid, “data-driven” approaches to teaching, which have not proven to benefit student learning. She believes standardized testing has become an ineffective administrative crutch and teachers need to reclaim their professional authority in the classroom by tailoring their instruction to fit the unique interests, gifts and needs of their students.
In addition to President Martin, MCEA welcomes new Vice President Anzer (Nikki) Woodward, an infants and toddlers specialist; Treasurer David Stein, a math teacher at Blair High School; and Secretary Danillya Wilson, a first grade teacher at Wheaton Woods Elementary School.