Alisha Martinez, MSSP ’07
Dr. Alisha Martinez has been in the field of education, both public and private, for the last 20 years. She began her career as a third-grade classroom teacher in a Title I school in the Atlanta Public Schools. She has been fortunate to work in a variety of settings — experience that has broadened her perspective on how to gather and present data, work with senior officials, and engage families. She currently serves as the lead project manager of the strategic planning process in the superintendent’s office of the Fairfax County Public Schools, the eleventh largest school district in the United States.
Prior to taking on this role, she served as a project manager in the Chief Equity Office and as a data specialist in the Office of School Support, both within the Fairfax County Public Schools. Alisha’s favorite job was serving as a senior director of research and business analytics at the educational technology firm K12 Insight, where she led large-scale projects for school districts. She served as the primary investigator on program evaluations, research design, data collection, analytics, and reporting on stakeholder engagement projects like family engagement, school climate, and strategic plans. In Dr. Martinez’s free time, she enjoys teaching methods courses at George Mason University, as well as volunteering in her community.
Dr. Martinez received her bachelor’s degree from Haverford College and her Master of Science in Social Policy from Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice. She has a PhD in Education from George Mason University. She also has her Administration and Supervision Endorsement PreK-12 from Longwood University. She is originally from Brookline, Massachusetts, and currently resides in Virginia with her husband, Oscar, and their two children, Isabella and Sofia. She attributes her professional and personal success to her husband and their two daughters, whom she loves very much.
“I chose Penn because I was curious about the intersection between policy, practice, and research. I had just left the classroom as a third-grade teacher and wanted to better understand rigorous research, how educational policies were made, and what types of initiatives were implemented at the school and district level to ensure all students have access to a high-quality education. I loved all of the courses I took at SP2 and the full-time faculty I was able to learn from. They were each so passionate, so smart, and so invested in making the world a better place through research, practice, and policymaking.”