By Michael Scheinert ’16
Mr. Gil Martinez ended his first year at Brophy in May and said he is loving every minute of it.
Originally from Santa Fe, New Mexico, he enrolled at the University of Notre Dame when he was 17, making him the first person in his family to go to college.
Upon completion of his years as a student, he went on to work in the Notre Dame admissions office for a total of 17 years. He said one of his main jobs was to read the college applications of students from Texas and Arizona for eight years, which was his first tie to Brophy.
Other responsibilities included managing and recommending admissions decisions for diversity student applicants, as well as serving as the admissions liaison with the athletic department for the female athletic recruits.
Mr. Martinez said he hopes to help all of his students appreciate their gifts and understand that who they are goes way beyond a GPA and standardized test scores.
“I truly feel that Mr. Martinez has aided me in pinpointing my strengths and how to use those strengths to my advantage,” said Maximilian Nicholas ’16, a student of Mr. Martinez‘.
Carter Beaulieu ’16 also said Mr. Martinez has helped him.
“It’s evident that Mr. Martinez has had experience at all levels. His prior occupation of admissions officer has given him a wide-ranging perspective that allows me to know what happens before, during, and after the college admission process.”
From 1993-2002 he was a member of the Society of Jesus. As a Jesuit, he worked at St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati, Ohio where he said he also enjoyed the role of dean of discipline for the freshman and sophomores.
He was also on the basketball coaching staff for the Boys Division I Ohio State Champion team in 2000. To this day, he keeps a picture of the memorable team in his office.
Mr. Martinez said he has moved around the country countless times. He lived in Cambridge, Mass. for a while to earn a graduate degree in education from Harvard University.
He said his focus of study was on the concept of resilience and how it can be developed in adolescents, especially those who suffer from trauma and socio-economic disadvantage.
One of Mr. Martinez‘s favorite hobbies is reading.
He said he is currently reading the 1,500-page version of Victor Hugo’s “Les Miserables” and his favorite book is J. R. R. Tolkien’s trilogy, “Lord of the Rings.”
“I’ve read this trilogy four times in my life, and each time I gain some valuable insight into Tolkien’s world view,” he said.
Mr. Martinez also listens to a lot of music—mainly classic rock.
Although he said he loves to watch college basketball, he was quite disappointed with his pick of the Iowa State Cyclones to win last year’s NCAA Tournament. After they were beaten in the first round, he said he lost hope to win the Brophy competition.
Mr. Martinez cited his most unique feature as his beard.
“I’ve had some sort of facial hair ever since I could grow it around the age of 14,” he said. “In high school, I was a good kid, but I hated to shave, which got me the equivalent to a JUG in school. I haven’t trimmed my current beard since last July, and I have no plans in the near future to do so.”
He said one of the greatest changes he’s had to deal this year is the difference between high school and college atmospheres.
“I think at a Jesuit school like Brophy, the strong sense of community and student body spirit are very similar, with the difference being one of scale,” he said. “I like to say that the Brophy experience, from what I’ve witnessed so far, is very much like Notre Dame’s. Notre Dame takes the Brophy experience and magnifies it.”
Mr. Martinez said he loves being a college counselor at Brophy. As he gets to know his students better, he is able to accompany them on their victories, as well as their challenges.
“Personally, I get a great sense of satisfaction witnessing a boy becoming a man who will, in turn, be a competent professional as well as a loving husband and father,” he said. “The college application process is all about learning who you are and one’s ability to communicate their gifts and talents to college admissions committees.”