The Adams 14 school board now includes a district parent, and she speaks Spanish fluently

A mom of three district students was appointed Tuesday night to fill a board vacancy on the Adams 14 school board.

Four Adams 14 school board members voted unanimously to appoint Laura Martinez to fill the board’s fifth seat, vacated in February when Bill Hyde resigned after an investigation found he was violating district policy visiting classrooms where his wife taught.

Board member Dominick Moreno, who nominated Martinez, said the board lacked the point of view of someone who has children in the district.

“That would be a really invaluable perspective to have,” Moreno said.

Martinez, an alumna of Adams City High School, has been involved in the district as a leader with the Colorado Industrial Areas Foundation, a coalition of progressive religious and community organizations that often aligns with the teachers union. She also is involved in the community through her church.

She was selected from five applicants to fill the seat, although one, Cynthia Sawaya Meyers, withdrew early on. The board interviewed the remaining applicants Tuesday afternoon, but waited until the end of its meeting Tuesday to select a new member.

During interviews, Martinez said her goal in being on the school board would be to inspire students.

“To remind them it doesn’t matter where they came from,” Martinez said. “I also want to contribute to bringing the district and the community together so we can work as one and make it a district that can exemplify what success looks like.”

Martinez addressed the community as soon as she took her seat on the board, and speaking first in English, then in Spanish, invited anyone to reach out to her.

Moreno pointed out that the board needs to have a member who speaks Spanish, the native language of most district parents.

Hyde resigned in February after a district investigation found he was violating district policy by visiting his wife while she was substitute teaching. The board had banned him from district classrooms during the investigation which resulted after an incident in which he grabbed the arm of a student he said was misbehaving.

Martinez’s appointment will be effective immediately. Her term extends through November, when Hyde’s term would have ended. Martinez would have to run for election to maintain the board seat.

Adams 14’s board has had a busy year, often meeting multiple times a week to discuss the State Board’s order to hire an outside manager. Tuesday the four-member board chose Florida-based MGT Consulting to run the district, after the State Board turned down an earlier selection.