Beeson Elementary is welcoming a new principal to the building, although she is no stranger to Dodge City.

Martha Mendoza grew up in Mexico, moved to Kansas as a second language learner at 8 years old, then moved to Dodge City at 13 years old. She graduated from Dodge City High School and Dodge City Community College.

Eventually Mendoza decided she wanted a career in education and became a tutor with USD 443. She later she became a paraprofessional before becoming a long-term substitute teacher, then went on to become a teacher.

“Martha will bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to Beeson Elementary,” said assistant superintendent of elementary education Tami Knedler. “Her passion for children and families will complement the Beeson staff’s desire to ensure success for all students.”

Mendoza landed her first administration job in 2008 when she took over as the assistant principal at Comanche Intermediate Center, now known as Comanche Middle School.

“I want to thank Comanche Middle School staff for all their hard work and determination to love and educate children,” Mendoza said in a press release. “I spent 8 amazing years with them. I would also like to thank Beeson Elementary for giving me a chance. I am anxious to start working with the Beeson staff, parents, and students.”

Though going from middle school to elementary school is a major transition, Mendoza feels that her experience at CMS will heighten her ability to help the students at Beeson.

“Transitioning from elementary to middle school can be traumatic for many students and families, and we know that students who are academically, socially and emotionally ready for middle school find great success when they get there,” Mendoza said in a press release. “Because my experience has been at the middle level, I can provide great insight regarding the skills students need to be successful. I will work collaboratively with the Beeson staff to continue sending students that are prepared and ready for their middle years.”

Mendoza received a bachelors degree in education before earning an endorsement in English for Speakers of Other Language (ESOL). Later, she received her masters degree in leadership from Kansas State University, making her a highly qualified instructor for Dodge City.

“I am currently a co-liaison for Dodge City Public Schools and Kansas State University,” she said. “It offers our teachers a chance to earn their Master’s Degree in leadership.”

Mendoza stated that she has a passion for children of all ages and that they motivate her to work alongside their parents and teachers.

“I cannot explain what I feel for Beeson Elementary but there was something pulling me in that direction,” Mendoza said. “I am very excited to work for such an amazing and hardworking staff.”

To contact the writer of this story, email egarcia@dodgeglobe.com.