A profile by Jo Ellis, Casco Bay High School class of 2025
When meeting with Mario Martinez, you will most certainly be greeted warmly with a friendly smile. The Portland High School (PHS) alumnus is unabashedly kind, hardworking, and ambitious. In high school, you could find him on the soccer field, meeting with his favorite teachers or hanging out with his closest friends. Nowadays, you can find him working as a manager of Key Bank, attending rotary club meetings, or hanging out with those same friends 14 years later.
Mario moved to Portland, Maine from El Salvador in 2002. He attended King Middle School and then Portland High School. He recalls the struggles of learning English, adapting to the new environment, and figuring out what he wanted to do in his future.
To say that Martinez overcame those struggles would be an understatement. At PHS, his teachers loved him, and he sought as many opportunities as possible. He found a solid place in the community.
“I learned how to seek out things rather than just waiting for other people to hand them to me,” Martinez stated.
Martinez was especially thankful for two teachers, Mr. Thibeault, his homeroom teacher, and Mr. Norbert, his social studies teacher. He remembers these teachers both challenging him and providing direct support. They significantly impacted him throughout all four years of high school and beyond. Martinez has even been able to reconnect with them since graduation.
After finishing high school, Martinez studied at Southern Maine Community College until leaving to join the workforce. He worked at Hannafords and stayed close to home but was still contemplating what he wanted to do with his career. He started looking around and noticed some open positions at a few local banks. He got accepted to a position as a teller and has never looked back. He has most certainly made a career for himself out of it. He has gone from part-time teller to branch manager in only a few years. Along the way, he has learned a lot about banking, management, and all sorts of other things. He expresses immense gratitude for the people who helped him improve his skills.
“Thankfully, I had a lot of really good colleagues that taught me a lot. I was learning the whole time,” Martinez stated.