Martha J. Wong
Dr. Martha J. Wong learned the value of education at a very early age. Her parents, born in China, served as role models and taught her the importance of educational excellence, community involvement and hard work. Dr. Wong became a role model herself, and Texas school children are better for it.
She began her career in education as a first grade teacher in the Houston Independent School District. After receiving her master’s degree in education she returned to teaching; and three years later she was promoted to assistant principal. After completing her doctorate in education at the University of Texas at Austin, she became assistant superintendent for Staff Development for the HISD.
As a school administrator, Dr. Wong was instrumental in developing statewide education reforms that raised standards and emphasized classroom instruction. She also initiated Texas’ first Alternative Teacher Certification Program, bringing talent from a diversity of professional fields into Texas classrooms.
Next Dr. Wong served as an associate professor at Baylor University before returning to Houston as the director of staff development for Houston Community College. In this position she transformed a fledgling department into a dynamic organization that gained the respect of experts throughout the nation. Dr. Wong later accepted the position of director of community development for Southwest College.
Dr. Wong’s commitment to education is only part of her contribution to Texas. She served as chair of Vocational Guidance Services, Inc., a United Way social service agency, and was the first woman on the Board of Directors for the Houston Lion’s Eye Bank. In December 1993 she was elected to the Houston City Council.
In other volunteer activities she worked with the Greater Houston Women’s Foundation, the American Red Cross and the Asian American Heritage Association. She founded the Asian American Coalition, bringing together Asian ethnic groups to seek greater participation in the political process.