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About Us » Administration


Dr. Smith
Dr. Whitney Smith, Principal
Dr. Smith began her teaching career in Burke County where during her time there she earned both Teacher and District teacher of the year before eventually transferring and settling in the Columbia County School District in 2016. Prior to being Principal at Martinez, she has served as a teacher leader at Westmont Elementary School, Assistant Principal at North Harlem Elementary, and Principal at South Columbia Elementary school.
She graduated with her bachelor’s degree from Augusta State University, has a Master’s in Reading and Literacy from Walden University, an Educational Specialist and a Doctorate degree in Early Childhood Education from Walden and a Tier I and Tier II Certification in Leadership from Augusta University.
Dr Smith lives in Columbia County with her husband Jarius, daughter Madison, and their yorkshire, Levi. In her free time she enjoys family time, motivating and supporting others, and finding ways to serve in her purpose across the community. 
She is looking forward to working with all of our staff, students, families, and our Martinez Elementary school community. 
Please do not hesitate to contact Dr Smith if you have questions, or any other areas that she may be able to assist you with. 
Leslie Dial, Assistant Principal   
Leslie Dial, Assistant Principal
Mrs. Dial has been with the Columbia County School District since 2001. Prior to being Assistant Principal at Martinez Elementary, Mrs. Dial served at Grovetown Elementary and Cedar Ridge Elementary as a teacher, and at Martinez Elementary as an Instructional Specialist. She graduated with her bachelor's degree from the University of Georgia, has a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from Lesley University and an Educational Specialist in Leadership from Lincoln Memorial University.  Outside of school, Mrs. Dial loves spending time with her husband and five kids, watching and playing sports, reading, Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, and cheering on the Georgia Bulldogs! Mrs. Dial believes in the power of an inclusive environment where student safety, engagement, and efficacy are paramount. She is looking forward to the opportunity to partner with parents, staff, and students to help Martinez continue its legacy of excellence! Please do not hesitate to reach out to Mrs. Dial if you need assistance with your student’s success.









Lessley (Blaze) Matanane - Principal's Secretary