Martha Boland

Art History, Co-Teacher for Fourth and Fifth Grade

Martha Boland was born and raised in Washington, DC. With both parents from the Boston area, she grew up exploring the East Coast. An internship in the Brooklyn Museum’s education department inspired her to develop an arts program in Wayne County Public Schools using the College of Wooster Art Museum as its base. After graduating with a degree in art history from Wooster in Ohio, she moved to the Pacific Northwest, where she has lived ever since. For twenty years, she worked as art director and designer for various local publications. Martha and her husband, Angelo Portomene, have a 31-year-old son, Angelo Kells, who attended Tilden. She began working full-time at Tilden School soon after he graduated.

Martha is convinced she has the best job ever. She teaches Art History to second through fifth graders, and is co-teacher with Richey Gawne for the fourth and fifth grade combination class.  Art History is a wonderful subject to teach to kids because their minds are so open to traveling through time and around the world, exploring many diverse cultures. Her fourth and fifth grade teaching focus areas include Language Arts, Social Studies, and Greek and Latin Roots. 

The Tilden community is something really special. Martha often runs into graduates of our little school in the broader world. It may take a moment to recognize these suddenly grown people, but invariably they still exemplify that essential kindness and inquisitiveness characteristic of our students. That’s the sort of legacy that could change the world for the better.

Martha once had the honor of introducing poet Maya Angelou when she was giving a reading to over 1,000 people. “I was so in awe of her, my voice was shaking. She said, ‘Oh Honey, don’t worry. Just be yourself.’ Those wise words have remained with me for life.”