Laura Martinez has lived in Loveland for 44 years and has been the heartbeat of a tiny preschool in the center of town for 22 of those years. She is a teacher and the current director of Community Preschool where generations of Loveland children have attended throughout the school’s 48-year history. Even after all this time, Mrs. Martinez sees “an optimistic future for CPS, filled with many children and families for years to come. Hopefully, I will be able to be a part of that for many more years.”
Community Preschool is a cooperative preschool, where “parents and teachers share the responsibilities and joys of their child’s experience.” Every parent is required to volunteer regularly in the classroom and pitch in with jobs each year to keep the school running at minimal cost and accessible to all families. According to Mrs. Martinez, “Community Preschool is successful because of the generosity and kindness of its Loveland and surrounding cities’ families. The nature of a co-op requires a lot of time and energy from families. These families are so special because of their willingness to help a school that encourages and promotes an exceptional, high quality program for their children. There are no better people in this world than the people at CPS!”
Mrs. Martinez is known for her adventurous spirit, daily songs on the guitar, and creative approach to teaching. She connects with the children on their level, making each day special for the students and parents. “The best part of my work day is greeting children and their families. I love greeting every child and making sure they know I am happy they are at school. Greeting family members and acknowledging their day is very important to me too.” On each school day, she is at the door with a smile on her face and fun plans for the day ahead. “I never mind going to work! I look forward to the surprises each day brings. I am able to work with loving, happy (for the most part) people. I have also been able to watch my grandchildren attend CPS and take part in this exceptional program.”
We asked her to share some of her favorite memories from all of her years at the school. “The favorite name I have been called in all the years is ‘Monster Tinez.’ Years ago we were using an electric grinder to prepare our wheat grains for baking. A child exuberantly lifted the lid while it was churning and released a huge cloud of wheat flour dust into the room. It took several minutes for the dust to settle. Of course, we were covered in dust and laughed when we saw each other’s faces. The children thought we looked like ghosts. The one and only time I brought cattails into school was a disaster. Did you know they explode when they are hit or smashed?! Another day of dander and seeds everywhere. I love it when a child asks me how old I am. I will usually ask how old they think I am. One child told me “14”? That child was speechless when I revealed my true age. So cute!!
It is no doubt that every parent and child also has favorite memories from those years, including crazy art projects (Mrs. Martinez loves using reclaimed trash to make “upcycled” masterpieces), baking adventures, local field trips, captivating guest speakers, songs, dance, and a lot of joy. “My favorite part of working with young children is their energy, love, and willingness to explore each and every day.”
When she’s not teaching, Mrs. Martinez enjoys hanging out in Loveland with her family and walking the trails with her dogs. She has a great love for animals and fosters whenever possible. Her greatest passions are for traveling and reading: “I always have a book close by to fulfill my voracious reading habit. I try to learn one new thing every day.”