DiAnna Martinez, educator and advocate for protected groups

Martinez serves as an Advanced Academics Programs and Services Resource Teacher (AAPS-RT) at Vogelweh Elementary School in Kaiserslautern, Germany. She also serves as FRS at her school and Europe East 1 Division Human and Civil Rights Coordinator (HCRC).

Before DoDEA and FEA, Martinez had already led a rich life filled with diverse experiences. She grew up in the Southwest, living in Arizona, California, and Nevada. As a high-ability student, she didn’t complete high school, but instead entered college early. After serving in the Army for four years, she earned an undergraduate degree in Human Biology from Grand Canyon University. While awaiting acceptance letters to graduate school, she started substitute teaching locally and discovered she had passion for educating children. She would go on to teach high school science in Arizona.

In 2011 she accepted a position with DoDEA as an Advanced Academics Programs and Services Resource Teacher in Germany. With her history as a higher-ability student, she was inspired to guide students with similar abilities.

Martinez’s education philosophy stresses the importance of students being engaged and taking ownership of their learning:

“While the curriculum has its place, encouraging their passions also has a place as well. It is imperative to allow them the opportunity to explore what there is to learn; to encourage them to learn something new every day.”

Martinez has served in several FEA positions. She initially served as her school’s HCR because of curiosity about how the union interacted with and supported protected groups:

“I am a member of multiple protected groups. Firstly, I have both service-connected and other disabilities. I once had an accident that caused a brain bleed resulting in a traumatic brain injury (TBI), which then led to memory loss and having to reteach myself skills. I am also Native American, female, and a bit older. Being part of these groups, I was inspired to help foster a diverse and welcoming workplace for all.”

In the 2020-2021 school year, Martinez assumed the role of HCRC for Europe East Division 1, hoping to assist school-level HCRs and advocating for the union to prioritize protected vulnerable groups. Starting in the 2022-2023 school year, she also became her school’s FRS so she could assist colleagues with various problems.

Martinez is also a member of the National Science Teachers Association, the National Association for Gifted Children, National Marine Educators Association, and several others. In her free time, she volunteers with community organizations such as the USO and Wounded Warriors. She also enjoys traveling, photography, quilting, conducting research, and cooking. She holds multiple graduate level degrees, including (but not limited to): Professional Development/Curriculum, Holocaust Studies, Gifted Education, and Oceanology.