Katie Johnson Martens

KIPP Sol Academy, Los Angeles, CA 

As the Reading Intervention teacher at KIPP Sol, Ms. Martens leads the work to ensure that English Language Learners can succeed. Year after year, her students achieve double-digit gains in their reading levels. To help encourage a love of reading, Ms. Martens leads on-campus Reading Nights, which she successfully transitioned to virtual events during the pandemic. Her innovative events for students and families include “book tastings,” family book discussions, and a writing program called NaNoRaMo where students set a writing goal each day for a month.

“If you are a student who is lucky enough to have Ms. Marten as a teacher, you can consider your life changed,” says Libby Gronquist, Principal at KIPP Philosophers Academy (former Founding Teacher at KIPP Sol Academy). “You will experience different worlds through literature, go on adventures in writing novels, and fall in love with reading.”