Timothy Martino realized he wanted to become an educator when he was growing up on the fields of his hometown in Batavia, N.Y.
Martino was involved in youth sports as a teenager. When it came time to pick a major at State University of New York (SUNY) at Fredonia, he said the decision was easy. He liked the idea of working with children.
"What better a way to work with children then to educate them," he said.
Martino moved to Loudoun in 1997 because of the education opportunities in the area. His first job in the county was fourth-grade teacher at Lovettsville Elementary School. While there, he earned his master’s degree from Shenandoah University in Winchester. After that, he taught second and fourth grade at Cedar Lane Elementary School in Leesburg, and in finally moved to Forest Grove Elementary School where he has served as assistant principal for the past four years.
In just a few weeks Martino will pack up his desk again and move to Sully Elementary School, walking distance from his current workplace.
Martino will replace Clark Bowers, who was named the principal of the new Arcola Elementary School in Arcola, scheduled to open this fall.
Wayde Byard, spokesperson for Loudoun County Public Schools said principals like Bowers will relocate to the fifth floor of the Administration Building in Ashburn for the remainder of the year. The principals who will relocate to new schools, like Arcola Elementary School, will order supplies and hire new staff from Ashburn.
"It’s a solid six-month process," Byard said.
MARTINO WILL MOVE to Sully Elementary School Thursday, Jan. 25.
Sully Elementary School is made up of one of the most diverse communities in Loudoun County and PTO co-president Becky King said it is important for Martino to understand the people that make up the school.
"He needs to pull together families who wouldn’t normally be involved with each other," King said.
While King is confident Martino has the skills he will need to lead a diverse school like Sully, she said some parents are concerned about the change of principals in the middle of the year.
"A couple of moms mentioned some concern," she said, "but from what I understand Martino is a strong leader and will be able to pull everybody together."
Byard said Martino is already familiar with the community, having worked down the road at Forest Grove Elementary School. Principals like Bowers, who are moving to new schools, are "veteran principals" and "already know the lay of the land," Byard said.
King explained to her daughter, who is in the fifth grade at Sully Elementary School, that Martino will replace Bowers in a couple of weeks.
"She seems really excited," King said. "She can’t wait to meet him."
SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS J. Warren Geurin has worked with Martino for the past five years at Forest Grove Elementary School.
He said parents compliment Martino on his ability to connect with the Forest Grove community.
"We are sad to say goodbye to him at Forest Grove," Geurin said, "but we’re happy to see him four blocks away at Sully Elementary School."