DOLTON | The new principal at Franklin Elementary School is a familiar face in Dolton West Elementary District 148.
Martez James took on his new position as Franklin School’s principal on Aug. 26.
The District 148 School Board approved his hiring on Aug. 22. He fills the vacancy left by the resignation of Lisa Davis-Smith.
James came to the district two years ago as assistant principal at Washington Elementary and Washington Junior High Schools in Riverdale. Last year he served as assistant principal at Roosevelt Elementary and Roosevelt Junior High Schools in Dolton.
He has 13 years of experience in the educational field. He started out as a teacher aide at South Central Community Services School, an alternative high school in Chicago. He worked in that capacity while attending college to become a certified teacher.
His first teaching job was at Arna Wendell Bontemps Elementary School in Chicago where he was a fifth-grade teacher for four years. He then was hired by Hazel Crest Elementary District 152.5 as a sixth-grade language arts teacher in a single-gender classroom for males. After one year, he joined the staff at Urban Prep Academies where he taught ninth-grade English/Language Arts for a year.
James also worked for four years as a fifth-grade teacher in Harvey Elementary District 152 before coming to District 148.
He said he is very excited about his leadership role at Franklin and looks forward to contributing to students’ academic and social development. His goal is to increase student achievement and to have Franklin School recognized as a world class educational institution. His mission is to create opportunities for the students that will lead to their growth and development as productive citizens. He said he is here to serve the students and to do what is in their best interest.
James has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Chicago State University and a master’s degree in educational leadership from American College of Education in Indianapolis.