Martinez, who has 20 years of executive-level experience in the nonprofit, educational, public affairs, and business sectors, will lead efforts to grow and strengthen the Foundation’s work that is connecting with, inspiring, and guiding students in school districts throughout the region toward educational and career paths in aerospace, aviation, and other exciting technical fields.
Launched in 2013, the Foundation has partnered with seven area school districts, a public charter school, and Pre-K 4 SA to date. In the process, it has engaged over 4,500 students through an array of aerospace and aviation-based programs, such as the development and integration of aeronautical STEM curriculum and project-based learning, field trips to NASA and local civilian and military venues, presentations by local, state, and national aerospace experts, and the development of an aircraft build program at Southwest High School.
Martinez will build on these successes, which have made the Foundation a regional and national model in STEM/STEAM education.
As she begins her new job on July 14, she will also continue as President of the San Antonio Independent School District’s (SAISD) Board of Trustees—a volunteer position to which she was first elected in 2017 as the representative for District 6.
She joins the foundation following a six-year career as Vice President of External Relations for Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Texas. She previously held executive positions with San Antonio Youth Literacy, Stand Up for Kids San Antonio, and Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas.
“I’m very excited to have the opportunity to serve as the new Executive Director and help write the next chapters of this exemplary organization,” said Martinez. “It’s an honor to build on the work of San Antonio’s own global visionary in the world of aviation and aeronautics—the late Dee Howard. I look forward to working hand-in-hand with our board and partners to ensure that we inspire students and support them each step of the way toward a future as this exciting industry’s next generation of talent.”
“Since the dawn of aviation to the present day, the aerospace industry has been a bedrock of San Antonio’s economy,” she added. “It’s up to us to provide a strong and engaging foundation for learning that connects students to the real opportunities before them. The Dee Howard Foundation and our innovative Pre-K – 12 Aeronautical STEM curricula are a critical step toward that future.”
“We are thrilled to have found Christina. She will help us carry out the work of the foundation and ensure that the mission and vision, set out by the board of directors, stays top of mind in the San Antonio community,” said Wayne Fagan, Chairman of the Board.
“As the founder of this organization, I couldn't be prouder to hand over the controls to someone who has dedicated her professional life to ensuring strong educational outcomes for kids,” he added. “We have done some life-changing work to date, and there is an exciting future ahead as we continue to advance our mission. I greatly look forward to providing our new Executive Director with my full support as we move full speed ahead.”
The Mission of The Dee Howard Foundation (DHF) is to honor San Antonio’s aviation and aerospace history and to nurture our innovators of the future. We seek to inspire, challenge and empower innovators in these fields while helping to train a skilled workforce for the San Antonio, Texas region while being open to expanding our programming beyond this region in the future. Our educational focus is primarily on Pre-K thru 12 underserved students and first-generation college students through the DHF Pre-K thru 12 Aeronautical STEM Pathway Initiative.