2021 Admin Hire Hero

Academics, Diversity, Upper School

Announcing our Two New Directors

The Northwest School is excited to welcome two key members of the administration team to the fold for the start of the 2021-22 school year: Catalina Martinez, our new Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI); and James Joseph, our incoming Upper School Director.

Catalina has degrees from Northwestern University and Maryville University, and has nearly three decades working in schools, beginning her career as a teacher before segueing into DEI work a decade ago. Since 2017, Catalina has worked as the Director of Diversity and Inclusion at De Smet Jesuit High School in St. Louis, Missouri. In her role, she started and led the faculty and staff diversity team, with the purpose of integrating diversity responsibilities at an institutional level, and helped teachers develop curriculum to support equitable practices in the classroom.

Incoming Head of School Ray Wilson says: “I am excited to welcome Catalina to The Northwest School. In my interview with her, it was clear that she has a commitment to DEI and social justice—which are integral to the community. In addition, Catalina brings a focus and temperament that will enable her to engage all members of the school community, inclusive of families, students, and colleagues. Her voice in curriculum development will be of great support to the Department Chairs and division leaders as we head into our accreditation year.”

Upper School Director James Joseph comes from a long line of educators and his own teaching career began over two decades ago. He is deeply entrenched in the local independent school community, having served as a board member for the Giddens School and Bishop Blanchet High School. For the past 10 years, James has helped lead Villa Academy as its Middle School Director and Associate Head of School.

James is a graduate of Brown University and the University of Washington Danforth Educational Leadership Program. He has served on NWAIS accreditation teams and has been instrumental in advancing equity in each of his school settings and roles. In his educational philosophy, James quoted Nelson Mandela’s words, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” which is directly resonant to The Northwest School mission.”

Welcome to Northwest Catalina and James!