It is not hard to understand why our school was named after such a hard-working, smart and special woman from New York City. The real Marta Valle was an American civil servant, community organizer and social worker. Born in 1934 in Spanish Harlem and of Puerto Rican descent, she attended Hunter College where she studied medicine. She became a social investigator for the Welfare Department, and then worked for the newly formed City Human Rights Administration in the Welfare Department. Valle acted as a liaison officer between the Hispanic community and the Human Rights Administration.
Valle then served as the commissioner of the Youth Services Agency from 1968-1972, and became the Director of the School of Social Work at Columbia University. She created her own consultancy firm, specializing in human relations. She was elected to the Hunter College Hall of Fame and received many awards for her work including being elected to the Carnegie Corporation of New York's Women of the Board. Marta Valle died on November 10, 1975 at age 41 of cancer. Marta Valle was instrumental in organizing city-wide conferences for positive change and social justice.