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TASA’s “Inspiring Leaders” tagline is not just a reminder of TASA’s commitment to leadership development; it describes our members themselves — school leaders who inspire others as they work to prepare future-ready students. Meet Brenda Martinez, one of those Inspiring Leaders.

With 18 years in education under her belt, Dr. Brenda Martinez currently serves as superintendent in Evant ISD, a position she’s held for nearly one year. As a leader, Martinez is focused on making sure everyone working in her district has the tools and support they need to be successful, according to colleague Claudia Canales, effective schools coordinator in Evant.

“In my short experience as an administrator, I have learned a plethora of information from Dr. Martinez,” Canales says. “Her extensive experience and leadership style prove to be effective time and time again. She leads with great humility, and I believe that her integrity makes her a very valuable leader in today’s society.”

In return, Martinez says staff members in Evant ISD are what make her most proud of the district.

“Every staff member in EISD, regardless of position, wears multiple hats to ensure that the work gets done. Evant ISD staff have servant hearts.”

In a job that can be stressful even in the best of times, Martinez says she focuses by remembering her own struggles in education and how they came to ignite her passion for learning. When Martinez was in high school, one of her teachers told her she wasn’t cut out for college. Initially delaying her entry into college, Martinez eventually dove into higher education and fell in love with learning.

“I love education and its ability to be a life-changing force; it’s not about the zip code I grew up in,” she says. “I became an educator with the intent of preparing young minds for success beyond high school. I constantly tell myself to do the right thing because it is the right thing to do; that keeps me grounded.”

Martinez says mentorship is crucial to being an inspiring leader. Through reading about great leaders, she has learned that many have had a mentor they can point to as someone who encouraged and inspired them.

“Mentors are essential to our work. Administration or leadership in education can be a very lonely world. Having a mentor allows you to bounce ideas, think through difficult situations, have real talk, and provides a safe zone for simply venting and reflecting. Everyone needs a safe place to go; in educational leadership, a mentor can become that safe place.”