INFLUENCER OF THE WEEK: Ximena Martin, Water Spring Middle School

Ximena Martin is the ESOL compliance specialist at Water Spring Middle School.

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Ximena Martin is the ESOL compliance specialist at Water Spring Middle School. In her role, she assists in the coordination of eligibility and placement of English language learners, as well as supports teachers in improving instruction for all ELL students. Principal Brian Sanchez-Corona said Martin has many initiatives and is a force to be reckoned with. “She single-handedly secured funding for adult English language classes on our campus and also English language learner tutoring programs (in partnership with other staffulty),” he said. 

What do you love most about your school?

I absolutely love the people I get to work with. I am lucky to say that the team at WSMS is amazing. 

What would you be if you weren’t in this profession?  

I would probably be working as a medical interpreter or in the foster-care system.

Who influences you?  

I am influenced and inspired by the good people I get to do life with. Good friends, the engaged parents, the experienced and kind co-workers, and the kind-hearted leader.

Who was your favorite teacher when you were in school? Why?

Mr. Julian was my sixth-grade teacher. He was always interested and invested in making connections with his students. Being his student changed my life.

What is your favorite children’s book and why?

My favorite children’s book is “The Kissing Hand” by Audrey Penn. I love it because it is about the importance for children to have a person that loves them and whose love is with them all the time.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I like to go to the beach, go on outside walks at dusk and spend time with my family.

If you could dine with any famous person, past or present, who would it be and why?

I would choose to dine with Martin Luther King Jr. He led a peaceful movement and transformed history for the better. I think it’s amazing how much change he inspired with his life-giving words.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?

I would choose teleportation, to be able to visit my extended family every time I want to — especially to hug my parents.

If you could only listen to three bands or artists, who would they be and why?

I love to listen to music, but if I had to pick just three it would be Michael Bublé, Coldplay and Luis Miguel.

What was your go-to lunch and favorite snack as an elementary student?

On Fridays, they used to sell tacos and rice pudding at the cafeteria. Those were my favorite!

What is your favorite holiday and why?

My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving, because of the true meaning of gratitude and the food. 

Who was your best friend when you were in school and why? 

My friend, Carla. She was a good friend and always fun to be with. We have been friends for (more than) 30 years. A year ago, we were able to do a girls trip to New York City. It was amazing. 



Annabelle Sikes

News Editor Annabelle Sikes was born in Boca Raton and moved to Orlando in 2018 to attend the University of Central Florida. She graduated from UCF in May 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in sociology. Her past journalism experiences include serving as a web producer at the Orlando Sentinel, a reporter at The Community Paper, managing editor for NSM Today, digital manager at Centric Magazine and as an intern for the Orlando Weekly.