Marcos Martinez, head of Ricardo Flores Magon Academy, resigns his post

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Marcos Martinez, the controversial founder of the Ricardo Flores Magon Academy and subject of our cover story "A Hard Line," has resigned. So, too, have two other employees whom the school's board of trustees asked to take a paid leave while they investigated complaints against them. The school is now searching for a new leader.

Meanwhile, it seems that Martinez is making moves in Wyoming.

Liberty's Torch, a monthly newspaper in Cheyenne, recently ran a story about Martinez's efforts to start a branch of the Ricardo Flores Magon Academy there. The story, in which Westword is quoted, says that the Cheyenne school board has approved the charter. Now it's up to the charter's own board to pick a principal for the school, though it seems that Martinez is preparing to run the school himself. He's already changed the name of the school, which Cheyenne Superintendent Mark Stock told Liberty's Torch was something that the board had discussed with him.

"The new name will be the 'Poder Academy,'" Martinez told Liberty's Torch. "'Poder' is Spanish for 'to be able,' and we'll also be using that name as an acronym for 'Proud, Outstanding, Determined, Educated and Responsible.'"

The school in Westminster is named after Ricardo Flores Magon, a Mexican anarchist.

Below, read the resignation letter sent to parents and students at the Westminster school by Martinez, chess instructor Dominic Martinez and director of curriculum and instruction Gabriela Guzman. The letter says the resignations were voluntary.

To: The Staff, Parents and Children of Ricardo Flores Magon Academy:

It is with a heavy heart that the three of us each announce our voluntary resignations from the Ricardo Flores Magon Academy. We have come a long way together in our pursuit of a better education for the children. We have overcome many obstacles and RFMA is now a model for excellence in education.

We can all be very proud of what we accomplished, but we must now look to the future of the school and the children. We do not want anything to interfere with the children's continued achievements. We wanted to thank each and every one of you for the support, participation and love that you have brought to this school. You have each made our time here rewarding and fulfilling. We will keep you in our hearts wherever life may take us.

With Deepest Thanks,
Marcos Martinez, Dominic Martinez and Gabriela Guzman

On March 20, the Charter School Institute's board of directors is scheduled to vote on whether to renew the school's charter, which is set to expire later this year. The board, which approved the school back in 2006, was first scheduled to vote on February 21. But because the school also applied to join Adams County School District 50, in which it is physically located, institute executive director Ethan Hemming says the date was pushed back to give Adams 50 more time to make its decision.

It looks like there won't be any decision, however -- at least not soon. Adams 50 spokesman Steve Saunders sent this note to Westword today: "The superintendent tells me that the Magon board has informed the school district that they are not going to pursue their application with the district at this time. That could change in the future."

More from our Education archive: "Life Skills Center, last-chance school, to close due to state board vote."

Like Melanie Asmar/Westword on Facebook for more updates.


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7 comments
poder
poder

Ms. Ruby Cortez, as a staff we treated you with the utmost respect, and we were very respectful of your time.  I witnessed Mr. Martinez being very professional and nice to you.  No one was laughing at you, and we are sorry that you did not get the position, but we have numerous qualified applicants.  Good luck in your job search.

ms.rubycortez
ms.rubycortez

I don't like Marco Martinez.....I had an interview with him about the possibility of working for his "PODER ACADEMY", and wow......RUDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He basically wanted me to babysit "troubled kids" and that I couldn't go to him for support. I left there ASAP.....I didn't like the man at all.......I just moved to Cheyenne, Wyoming from Texas & didn't expect to see this. Im glad I left. Now, I'm looking for another job & the secretaries that work there were just laughing at me......rude STAFF.

MyWifeIsCrzy
MyWifeIsCrzy

People are already pulling their children out of this school in Wyoming.  They have labeled  him as confrontational and very demeaning to others.

 

Sounds like something not needed in Cheyenne,.

Matt
Matt

My two children attended that school for three years. The first year, Mr. Martinez was kind and welcoming. He really seemed to care about the children. The second year, he changed, he was arrogant and dismissive. That year, I joined the fundraising committee.  He told all the parents right off the bat that the money we raise is going to be spent anyway he chooses. He raised a lot of money that year, but we didn't see where the money was spend.  When we asked him where that money went, he told us that it is back into the school and that was end of that.  We still didn't see that any of the children received anything.  The following year, Mr. Martinez had changed. He was arrogant, bossy, and very aggressive towards the children and teachers.  On several accusations my wife and witnessed Mr. Martinez and his brother, Mr. "M" get into the get into students' faces and yell at them until they cried and confessed.  He expelled several children for missing a day of CSAP testing.  The school would also tell the parents to sign their children into school even if they were absent.  My children were one of the few children that where not on free lunch, the school would always sell the free lunches they received to the children that were not on free lunch. I was told by the school staff that they received enough lunches to feed all the children for free, but they sold the extras to make extra money to the school.  What finally got us to take our children out of school is when he yelled and intimidated my son to confess into something he didn't do.  My son swore that he didn't do anything wrong, but he only confessed because Mr. Martinez yelled and made him cry.  I confronted Mr. Martinez and he denied everything and told me that my son was not telling the truth.  I believed my son because I had seen him treat other children badly and my son would not have lied.  Mr. Martinez and his brother should never be around children, they don’t have the patience and they are easily angered. 

Concerned
Concerned

Keep this man out of Wyoming and far away from your children.

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Thanks for sharing your views, Matt. Much appreciated.

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