SCUSD appoints veteran administrator to lead reopening of downtown school
Dr. Gema Godina-Martinez was instrumental in establishing McClatchy High’s respected Law and Public Policy Academy

Press release

October 2, 2015 (Sacramento): Sacramento City Unified School District’s Board of Education has selected Dr. Gema Godina-Martinez to lead the reopening of downtown’s Washington Elementary School.

The Board voted unanimously Thursday to appoint Godina-Martinez – currently an assistant principal at C.K. McClatchy High School – as Washington’s new principal, beginning immediately. Washington was one of seven SCUSD elementary schools closed in 2012 due to chronic under-enrollment. With downtown development booming, the district is committed to reopening Washington next fall.

“Dr. Godina-Martinez is a passionate educator with a deep understanding of the downtown community and the needs of our students and families,” said Superintendent José L. Banda. “I have every confidence that she is the right person to lead this important effort.”

Godina-Martinez grew up in Sacramento and attended Camellia Elementary, Fern Bacon Middle School and graduated from McClatchy. She has said that her personal experiences as a student prompted her to return to SCUSD as an educator, a position that has allowed her to advocate on behalf of Sacramento children.

During her tenure as a McClatchy administrator, Godina-Martinez was instrumental in establishing the school’s Law and Public Policy Academy, a Linked Learning pathway that connects students to internships and mentorships in the legal profession. She has also been working alongside local leaders and the arts community to develop a Visual and Performing Arts Academy at the school.

Before moving into administration, Godina-Martinez was a social science teacher and a bilingual resource teacher, also at McClatchy. She holds a Master’s in Teacher Leadership Multicultural Education and a doctorate in Education Leadership and Policy, both from Sacramento State.