District News

Photo of Don Lorett and Seth Martinez with San Juan College logo

Martinez tabbed as next SJCHS principal, Lorett to retire

FARMINGTON, NM – Seth Martinez has been named the next principal of San Juan College High School (SJCHS), Dr. Eugene Schmidt, Superintendent of Farmington Municipal Schools announced on Tuesday, December 3. For the past six years Martinez has been an assistant principal at Farmington High School and will take over in July for Don Lorett, who is retiring at the end of the 2019/2020 school year after 36 years in education.

“To join the leadership at San Juan College High School is such a tremendous opportunity and I’m honored to be able to join such a great school with a great group of students and staff,” Martinez said.

 Prior to Farmington High School, Martinez was a teacher at Heights Middle School and has been working in the education field for 17 years. Martinez also graduated from Farmington High and played baseball for the Scorpions under Lorett, a former head coach of numerous state championship FHS baseball teams.                                      

Martinez is looking forward to the opportunity of offering more personalized education to students and helping to create and continue meaningful relationships between students and staff. San Juan College High School is currently comprised of approximately 300 students and 15 teacher and staff members.

“We are extremely excited to have Mr. Martinez become the next principal at SJCHS,” Lorett said. “Seth is a true professional in education and is strongly committed to our community. I’m confident he will be able to maintain the strengths of our school and improve it in other areas with his innovative approach to education.” 

Lorett has been at the helm of SJCHS for five years, one planning year and four years as an early college high school (ECHS). Created in partnership with and located at San Juan College, SJCHS was the first ECHS in New Mexico to incorporate students from multiple districts. SJCHS includes students from Aztec Schools, Bloomfield Schools, Farmington Municipal Schools and Central Consolidated Schools and will graduate its first class in May of 2020. Graduates will receive a high school diploma and as well as many college credits or an associates degree from San Juan College.

“The San Juan College High School has been a wonderful collaboration with our school districts in the County,” said San Juan College President, Dr. Toni Hopper Pendergrass. “Principal Lorett has done an extraordinary job as principal of San Juan College High School.  As a result of his visionary leadership and the excellent work of his team and the students, they have exceeded our expectations each and every year. Based on Mr. Martinez’s impressive experience, I am pleased that he was selected as the next San Juan College High School principal.”

The school was ranked as the top public high school by the New Mexico Public Education Department in 2017 and 2018 under Lorett’s leadership and continues to be a leader in the state for student proficiency and achievement.

“Mr. Lorett has taken San Juan College from an idea and turned it into something amazing. For that we celebrate him and wish him nothing but the best in his well-deserved retirement,” Dr. Schmidt said.