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Karsten Hatcher Selected as First Principal of Martinez Elementary

Denton ISD has selected Karsten Hatcher as the first principal of Martinez Elementary School, which is slated to open August 2024 in the Braswell High School attendance zone.

Ms. Hatcher has most recently served as the assistant principal of Union Park Elementary, where she helped open the campus in 2019. She has 17 years of experience in education and will assume her role at Martinez after Spring Break. In addition, Ms. Hatcher is also a 2002 graduate of Ryan High School, having attended Woodrow Wilson Elementary (currently Shultz Elementary) and Strickland Middle School as a student.

“It is an honor to be selected as the first principal of Martinez Elementary,” Ms. Hatcher said. “I grew up going to Denton ISD schools, and I love the opportunities that Denton ISD schools provide students. It’s exciting to be on the other side of that now to help provide an incredible education to our students.”

Martinez Elementary will be the 26th elementary school in Denton ISD and is one of the first completed projects from the 2023 capital improvement plan approved by district voters. The school is named for Dorothy Martinez, who was a longtime Denton ISD teacher and former member of the Board of School Trustees.

Ms. Hatcher joined Denton ISD in 2007 as a substitute teacher. From 2008-2011, Ms. Hatcher was a second- and third- grade English as a Second Language (ESL) and inclusion teacher at Borman Elementary.

Following her tenure at Borman, Ms. Hatcher served as an academic enrichment specialist for Communities in Schools of North Texas from 2011-2013. She returned to Denton ISD in 2013 at Alexander Elementary, and for the next six years, served as both an instructional intervention specialist and instructional coach.

In 2019, she joined Union Park as its assistant principal, where she led the scheduling, interviewing and recruitment of new staff. In addition, she also developed several of the campus’ new systems, including safety and security, while also designing the “New to Union Park Coaching Support Cycle” to support new teachers with curriculum and instruction.

“We are extremely excited to have Ms. Hatcher guide the opening of Martinez Elementary as its first principal,” said Dr. Jeff Russell, Area Superintendent. “Ms. Hatcher’s experience opening an elementary school in the Braswell Zone will be a tremendous asset for the future students and staff at Martinez. Her familiarity with our zone, curriculum acumen and dedication to our schools make her an invaluable part of our team.”

Ms. Hatcher received her bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from the University of North Texas. She later received her master’s degree in educational leadership from Texas Woman’s University.