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 Gina MartindaleA Pueblo native, graduate of South High School and longtime District educator, counselor and administrator will now be leading Goodnight School.

Gina Martindale, who for the past 8 years has served as Goodnight’s Assistant Principal, will take over the leadership reins from a retired Andrea Glaeser.

“I am super excited about being the next principal at Goodnight School,” Principal Martindale said. “I truly feel honored and blessed to work with the best students and staff in town.”

At Goodnight, Andrea Glaeser served as a guide and mentor.

“I have worked with Andrea for over 14 years and she has mentored and provided opportunities for me to build capacity among an amazing staff at Goodnight,” Principal Martindale said. “She also taught me how to be a leader who is organized and effective, but, most importantly, how to create and maintain a positive school culture.”

Like the majority of Principals in the District, Principal Martindale began her career as a classroom educator.

“I choose education as a career because I remember at a very young age I loved children,” she said. “When I was in high school, I would always volunteer at church in the nursery and in the preschool class.  I loved teaching and loved working with kids. It was at an early age that I planned on going to college for early childhood education.”

After a year of study at Pueblo Community College, Principal Martindale became pregnant with her daughter.

“That is when I knew I wanted to be able to provide and set a good example for her,” Principal Martindale said. “I had a dream to get a Bachelor's degree and become a first-generation college graduate. I had an amazing support system in my family and I knew I would be able to get a Bachelor's degree, but realized it would be hard: raising a child, working, and getting a degree.  

“But I was determined, and I knew teaching would be the perfect career for me because I loved teaching children, and I would be able to have a career and still have a lot of time to be a Mom.”

After earning that Bachelor’s degree from what is now Colorado State University Pueblo, Principal Martindale began her career at Pueblo Schools for Arts and Science, teaching a third and fourth grade continuum class. After six years there, Julie Shue, a teacher at Goodnight School, and Principal Marne Autobee, recruited her to the South Side pre-K through 8 institution.

“I was really excited to go to Goodnight because at that time, I was doing a Master’s program in counseling,” Principal Martindale said. “Marne was a counselor before becoming a principal and she was happy to mentor me.”

At Goodnight, Principal Martindale taught second grade for a year and fourth grade for two. 

“I loved teaching and seeing students grow and be successful,” she said.

After five years in the classroom, Principal Martindale was asked to start the new school year as a counselor.

“At first, it was going to be a temporary position because our counselor was out sick,” Principal Martindale said. “But this is where my path changed. Five years later, I was still the counselor at Goodnight. I loved counseling and really enjoyed learning from Marne. I remember the social/emotional development of our students became my main focus. I wanted students to feel a sense of belonging and I wanted them to ‘believe’ they could do anything they set their mind to.”

With an ever-increasing resume of skills, Principal Martindale was tasked with leading professional development, coaching teachers, and imparting lessons on character education and social-emotional development.

Sensing her leadership abilities, Marne Autobee encouraged Principal Martindale to pursue that pathway.

“She nominated me for the National Institute for School Leaders program the District was offering,” Principal Martindale said. “I can honestly say at the time I was in no hurry to become a principal, but I was interested in learning new leadership skills.”

At the completion of the program, Principal Martindale pursued administrative licenses through the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs. When an Assistant Principal position at Goodnight opened, “I knew I was ready for the next step and became excited about the opportunity.”

After years of service in that position, the retirement of Principal Glaeser opened yet another door.

“I can honestly say being a principal was not my ultimate goal,” Principal Martindale said. “My goal was to be a teacher and school counselor. However, being around great leaders and people who empowered me, believed in me, and guided me, this became a goal later in my career.”

The culture of success and inclusion at Goodnight is something Principal Martindale will work to continue.

“I want everyone to feel a sense of belonging and to keep Goodnight a place where everyone knows I care about their academic achievements,” she said. “But more importantly, that I care about them as individuals. I truly believe in creating a family atmosphere at school with our students and staff.”

As a pre-K through 8 school, Goodnight requires a leader well versed in both elementary and middle school curriculum and data.

“I believe in the concept of pre-K through 8 and want to continue to show the success our school has to offer,” Principal Martindale said. “It is awesome to watch students grow and be successful from kindergarten to the 8th grade, and academic growth and achievement will continue to be the ultimate long-term goal for our students.

“However, social-emotional development continues to be equally important.  Having worked in several different capacities, I believe my counseling background has given me the tools and strategies I need.”

Raised in a home where faith, family and hard work were stressed, Principal Martindale remains the eternal champion of diversity, equity and inclusion.

“My dad was a steel worker and my Mom was a stay-at-home mom. I know hard work: I started working at the age of 15. My parents raised me to be a hard worker and raised me to be a very positive and diverse individual who cares about everyone.”

Principal Martindale and her husband of 25 years have two children, both of whom are products of District 60.

“My daughter is an engineer at Lockheed Martin, in Castle Rock, and my son is attending CSU Pueblo, where he plays baseball and is pursuing an engineering degree. My family has been a very important part of my success over the years.”