Soljane Martinez (RI)
Soljane Martinez is a history teacher of grades 7-9 at Highlander Charter School in Providence, RI, where she has taught for the last 10 years. A native of New York, Soljane moved to RI after beginning her teaching career with the New York City Teaching Fellows Program, which attracts professionals from different careers to education. She attended the University of Rhode Island, receiving her B.A. in Journalism, '98, and immediately earned a spot at the largest state newspaper, The Providence Journal, covering local news and writing a column geared at young adults in RI. In 2000 her budding journalism career took her back home where she joined The Wall Street Journal Sunday, writing personal finance stories for the world's most prestigious financial newspaper.
In 2008 she was selected among thousands of teachers across the country as a Freedom Writer Teacher, a powerfully engaging curriculum based on the book and film of same name. The program trains educators to teach all students through challenging, project-driven activities focused on social justice.
Just this summer she was recognized by the League of Women Voters for her civics teaching and received the Susan B. Wilson Civics in Merit Award. In October of this year she and her 8th grade students were honored to host Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, and display their iCivics savvy to the site creator!