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A 'Favis' Fourth:

While his life hasn’t always gone the way he dreamed, Lamar Reese Elementary Magnet School of the Arts Assistant Principal Martez Favis is exactly where he wants to be.


While most of the world was grilling hamburgers and watching fireworks for the July 4 holiday, Favis was taking in the sites of our nation’s capital, albeit in a different sort of way.


“I actually had an amazing fourth of July,” Favis says, brimming with a smile from ear to ear. “I was in our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., and I got to sing a little bit.”


No, Favis wasn’t among the hundreds of thousands of tourists who flocked to D.C. for the holiday. He was among a very select group of individuals who were hand-picked to perform as a part of the nation’s official Independence Day celebration - “A Capitol Fourth,” which aired live on PBS from the lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building.


“I was a part of the nation’s biggest birthday party, as they call it,” Favis said. “It’s just this amazing concert filled with artists from all over the country.”


And these aren’t just any artists either. On the fourth, Favis shared the stages setup on the National Mall with some of the world’s biggest acts -- the Beach Boys, the Temptations, Pentatonix, CeCe Winans, Andy Grammer and more.


So how did a public school administrator from Albany, Ga., end up on one of the biggest stages around? Well, it took a minute.


Favis says that he’s always had a thing for performing. His first professional love was acting and theatre. From the time he was a child, he says he knew that he wanted to be on stage. But pursuing it in high school and college, and even getting accepted into some prestigious performing arts schools before deciding to take his passion to the University of Central Florida.


But before he could move, he got word that budget cuts had slashed his program and his grand plans fell by the wayside.


It was at that moment that an aunt told Favis he should consider a career as a teacher. It was advice he says he didn’t really want to hear.


“I had this dream, you know, and teaching really didn’t sound like something I wanted to do so I resisted,” he said.  “So I spent a lot of time and money traveling around the country trying to make this work and it never really did and so I ultimately decided to try teaching as a way to do something until the performing piece worked itself out.”


Fast forward 10 years and Favis now finds himself as the assistant principal in the Dougherty County School System’s Peforming Arts magnet school and, in a group called Patrick Lundy and the Ministers of Music.


Its through this Washington, D.C.- based group that Favis has been able to tour the country and perform -- when he’s not performing for his elementary students.


When he’s not on the road performing, Favis said that he’s discovered that his passion is bringing his stories and experiences back to his students at the school.


“The biggest thing that anchors me and keeps me focused on being my best self is knowing that I have an assignment here; that I have kids that are depending on me to provide them with the best level of education possible and that’s the major thing that stays in the forefront of my mind, and the majority of the things I do, I do for them” Favis said. “So that they can see that it’s possible and they can know that you can do it. It doesn’t matter what your circumstances are, it doesn’t matter what your family dynamics look like and it doesn’t matter how much money you have, if you have a dream and you have a goal, you can obtain it.”