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Alumni Spotlight: Christian Martinez

Post Oak eighth grade class of 2008

by Shannon Neufeld, Communication Coordinator
From the February 19, 2009 edition of The Weekly POst

Christian Martinez has an unusual history with Post Oak: he started in grade six after Hurricane Katrina forced his family to leave New Orleans. They loved The Post Oak School and Houston so much that they stayed. Christian attended Post Oak through grade eight, and now attends Woods High School here in Houston.

Christian attended a public school in New Orleans and transitioned successfully to Post Oak with the help of Mr. Pinto, Ms. Gray, and Mr. Niezgoda. “Public schools don’t care for their kids as much,” he said. “It’s more about just plowing through the lesson plans.”

Christian learned time management skills at Post Oak. “I have to manage my time really wisely with basketball practice three times a week,” in addition to a heavy homework load and other school activities. “Being on task and staying focused – not letting my mind wander and making myself focus to do my best.” These are things he learned at Post Oak.

A lot of it was balance. Christian got a taste of how to balance even more activities by training for the MS 150 when he was here. He did the race both years of Middle School, as well as his freshman year in high school. He plans to do it again this year.

“It’s so enjoyable,” he said about participating in the event to help people fight MS. “It’s not only helping me, but helping people who are suffering from an illness.”

When asked if he thought there were any weaknesses in his academic training at Post Oak, Christian could not think of any. “If there is a choice of sending kids here or somewhere else, I think they should send them here,” he said. “It prepared me well for high school.”

One major difference between Post Oak Middle School and high school is that there are more tests in high school. “It took a while to get used to studying that way – but I developed study habits and I didn’t find it all that hard to get motivated.”

One of Christian’s favorite memories of materials at Post Oak was working with fractions in Mr. Pinto’s class. He also loved the Middle School trip to Washington D.C. and how he and his classmates bonded.

Traveling isn’t the only thing that made an impression on Christian: community service was a big one too. While at Post Oak, he remembers in particular working at Palmer Way Station and collecting food for the Braes Interfaith Ministries food drive. In fact, when he spoke with this writer, he was working at Post Oak for his service learning week. Part of that time included working in the library, helping Primary children check out their books.

Improvements to Post Oak? He would love it if Post Oak opened a high school. “That would be a great idea. If it was going to be finished before I graduated from high school, I wouldn’t hesitate to come back.”