Dr. Crystal Martinez-Alire was elected to the Elk Grove Unified School District Board of Education in November 2014 to represent Trustee Area 2. In December 2019, the Board of Trustees selected her to serve as Board Clerk. Dr. Martinez-Alire has first-hand experience working with teachers, parents, students and community members and views her leadership position as a way of giving back to her community. With pride, she refers to herself as a product of the Elk Grove Unified School District. Mrs. Martinez was involved in the District’s Head Start program for over 10 years and in that capacity she was able to provide services to low-income families and students. She also served as a student representative in the District’s Indian Education program while in high school and continued to stay involved within the Native American community as she is an enrolled member of a federally recognized Miwok tribe. Mrs. Martinez also completed internships within the district’s Healthy Start programs and is alumni of Florin High School.
Advocating for the rights of underrepresented youth is a key mission for Dr. Martinez-Alire and in her leadership role; she wants to ensure that the District meets the educational needs of all students. She recently published a study that documented the relationship between California tribal leadership and education with a focus on social justice and transformational leadership theories. Her research examined a number of themes such as elders within the American Indian community, education and collaboration. She hopes to further develop curriculum that addresses the needs of American Indian students and she strives to ensure strong ethical leadership for tribal communities. Dr. Martinez-Alire has been a formal presenter at many colleges and guest speaker on many topics related to Native American community, students, multicultural education and tribal enrollment.
Dr. Martinez-Alire previously worked for a local Tribal TANF program that assisted the Native American community in California. More currently she is at UC Davis working within the Native American Studies Department. Additionally, she has worked as a para-educator and job developer in the Elk Grove Unified School District. Dr. Martinez-Alire is a graduate of California State University of Sacramento where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications studies with a minor is sociology, a Master’s of Science degree in counseling and an Ed. D. in educational leadership.
The teachers and community in the Elk Grove Unified School District spurred Dr. Martinez-Alire’s educational career. From elementary towards receiving her Ed.D., she accredits her inspiration to achieve higher goals to her mother, her teachers, mentors and counselors. Together with her husband Richard Alire and daughter, the Alire’s enjoy giving back to the Elk Grove community and helping Native American students succeed.