Update: Dallas ISD has confirmed that Hector Martinez has returned from leave and will be the principal of Sanger Elementary moving forward. The district didn’t comment about why there has been so much confusion on Martinez’s status, as they don’t comment on personnel matters.

Hector Martinez, who has been at the helm of Sanger Elementary in Forest Hills for several years, is no longer the school’s principal. Sanger joins Woodrow, Lakewood, Lipscomb and Mount Auburn as neighborhood schools that have lost their principal over the summer.

Change was in the air at the end of May at Sanger. Principal Martinez was on administrative leave at the end of the semester but returned for the final day of school and said he would be back, according to PTA president Lydia Blaisiar Croupe.

Croupe, who will have a kindergartener and a third-grader at Sanger next year, says that she was surprised to hear that Martinez would be leaving. Under Martinez, Sanger earned top honors from the Texas Education Agency this past year for this first time in its history. Martinez was present over the summer and was working with families in preparation for the next school year. But then one day this summer, the district released a letter that Martinez was out and that a substitute principal, Dr. Jane Ortega, was in his place.

In a  letter to the community, Bryan Adams High School feeder pattern Executive Director Dr. Jo Anne Hughes writes, “Some of you may have heard, our principal has recently been away from the campus. At this time, we do not know when he will return. To ensure a smooth transition for the campus, Dr. Ortega, a substitute principal will serve Sanger students and staff.” The district says that Martinez is on leave, but wouldn’t give any more details as they don’t discuss personnel matters.

Croupe says Martinez backed all the programs at the school, and that the PTA had his full support as well. Despite the surprise, she is confident in the future of the school, which added a dual language program and a middle school in the past few years.

“I have been happy with every teacher my child has had, and the staffing is strong. There are involved parents, and the community has always been there,” she says.

“When I started with the PTA, it was the same three moms,” Croupe says. “Now we have committees led by other parents and people want to be a part of it.”

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