LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Rebecca Martin

Position: EC Teacher, Grades 3-5
School: Hillandale Elementary School
School District: Henderson County Public Schools
City, State: East Flat Rock, NC

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Becca Martin was nominated by her colleague, Carmen Armour.

Ms. Martin was recently named Henderson County Exceptional Children Educator of Excellence for 2019-2020, and it's not hard to see why. Her relationship with the students at Hillandale is something very special to witness.  She has truly found her calling in life as a teacher. She teaches a self-contained intensive intervention classroom, with an especially large class size of students in grades 3-5. Ms. Martin doesn’t let the large class size intimidate her. She adapts her instruction, and inside the classroom, everything flows seamlessly to provide the best possible educational experience for each individual student.

Lessons and behavior plans are differentiated to meet each individual student’s needs. Learning units are developed to integrate science, social studies, math, and reading. Technology is integrated into her lessons, and students in her classroom are excited about learning!  By providing Project-Based Learning and hands-on learning opportunities, she has a special way of reaching each student’s educational goals. Ms. Martin is extremely understanding and compassionate with all students on an emotional, behavioral, educational, and human level. She treats her students with respect and care, but she pushes them to do their very best, not only at school, but in their community and at home. She develops a strong bond and relationship with each student and their parents, not only while they are in her class, but as they move on through their education and life.  

At Hillandale Elementary, she is extremely involved in making her school the best it can be. She continuously adds to the development of her school through a dedication to clubs, and to her school’s constant improvement. She acts as the School Improvement Chair and is a member of the Lighthouse Team for implementing the Leader in Me program. Ms. Martin brought K-Kids to her school to give students the exciting opportunity to be involved with a community leadership and service club. This year, K-Kids was very excited to plan and work with Special Olympics to include a Hillandale Elementary School float in the county Christmas Parade for the very first time.

Ms. Martin also recognizes the need to keep her school up to date in the area of technology. She started an after-school robot club to help students learn coding, and she also obtained grants for robots, Makey Makey coding tools, and a 3D printer. She also received a grant for STEM items for her own classroom, including a VR globe, building materials, and a snap circuit set. Ms. Martin is an invaluable asset to her school, as she has a strong commitment to helping provide a nurturing atmosphere for the students, parents, and staff at Hillandale.  

Ms. Martin's commitment and influence extends into the community.  In recent years, she has presented for the county in the areas of professional development, and for an innovation fair.  She also serves as the Special Olympics Coordinator for Henderson County. She is passionate about the important link between the student’s lives and their world around them.   

"Becca truly possesses each of the qualities that a LifeChanger of the year is expected to demonstrate," said Armour. "She is not only committed to being a teacher, but a LifeChanger for her students, school, and community.  She holds herself accountable to high moral and ethical standards. Becca has a record of excellent performance at the professional level, but more importantly, she has demonstrated a strong desire, and proven her ability, to truly make a difference.  When we receive information that there is a family or student in need, she immediately helps in any way possible, giving not only her time or donations, but the best gift of all, her love. She continuously goes above and beyond what is asked of a teacher, expecting nothing in return."

Ms. Martin's most important act of kindness towards a student to date occured last year, when she spoke at a former student’s funeral. She proved that her love for him not only continued in his life, but after his death. She has dedicated her life to making this world a better place, and she is doing so, each and every day.



Comments (19)


Bonnie Ertel Posted over a year ago

I am so proud to know Rebecca (Becca) Martin. We have been friends for years and it has been wonderful to watch her excel as an exceptional educator for special needs children. She is an amazing person and a true "Lifechanger" for so many young people.

Megan Stamps Posted over a year ago

It does not surprise me one bit to hear of Becca's nomination. I've known her since college and, even in college, busy with studies and all, she made time to go out and serve the community, interacting with the disabled and making them feel as though they were the most important part of her day! She LOVES people and consistently puts others before herself!!

Sherry Coren Posted over a year ago

Becca is an inspiration to all of her coworkers. The relationship she builds with her students is incredible and the results are amazing. She is truly deserving of this award.

Sarah Posted over a year ago

Becca is an amazing person and teacher.

Amy Brooks Posted over a year ago

This is so exciting! Becca certain deserves this award! I have known her for years and her love for people, especially children, is obvious! She is a loving and dedicated teacher. Congratulations, Becca! So thankful for you and your life!

Henry Martin Posted over a year ago

Wow, just wow!!! I can't think of anyone more worthy of this reward. Of course, her mother and I are super proud of our daughter for her work with "special needs" children. I'm sure hundreds of people in Western North Carolina agree with us.

Elizabeth Guest Posted over a year ago

As a fellow educator, I can say without a doubt that Becca is a fantastic educator who keeps the individual needs of her special students at the forefront of everything she does! She exudes love and compassion while maintaining the highest standards for her students. She is the perfect choice for Life Changer of the Year!

Susie Tweed Posted over a year ago

Rebecca is very passionate or her students well being and her school. It shows in her students faces when they are at school. She is a wonderful teacher. Thank you for all you do for your kiddos and their families.

Tracy Hill Posted over a year ago

Voting for Rebecca Martin

Laura Moore Posted over a year ago

Ms.Martin has went above and beyond the past and present year with my child. I have seen her at work in and outside of the classroom. She has came to my sons football games and goes above expectations. I have gotten calls from her in the evening time to tell me how proud she is of my son at doing something. I also got to work beside her on assembling the Christmas parade float and i have gone on field trips with the class. The smiles and laughs she shares with her students are remarkable. I must say she deserves every opportunity of the life changer of the year award.

Carol heatherly Posted over a year ago

Thank you for all you have done for my grandson colin heatherly.You have made such a difference in him and he has learned so much under you and we appreciate you efforts very much.God bless you for all your efforts!

Rhonae Posted over a year ago

Becca is an extraordinary person! She invest her time and talent in changing people’s life’s. She holds multiple degrees.

Stephanie Heatherly Posted over a year ago

My Son is in Ms. Martin’s class and we have seen him thrive in so many ways since he has been in her class. She loves each and everyone of her students and puts in extra work with each of them. She goes above and beyond working way past school hours to make sure our kids have clubs and activities to join so that they have a place to feel included and make connections with other students. She strengthens our community by building bridges for our children to always feel included and part of a team. That means the world to our family that there are teachers out there like Ms. Martin that put their heart and soul into their students.

Melissa Ledgerwood Posted over a year ago

Becca has dedicated her life to her students. She is truly called by God to be a special education teacher. Her natural talents are a blessing to everyone she encounters. Becca goes above and beyond in everything that she does. Her efforts reach beyond the classroom into the community. Becca makes a difference in the lives of her students and their families every single day!

Lauren Gamble Posted over a year ago

I have known Becca for a very long time. Her life’s mission has been to encourage, assist and train those with challenges. Her passion, dedication and ability to do this mission is unending and entirely selfless. The results show in her students changed lives. She has given these ,her children , an atmosphere geared for learning and engages them so they will reach their highest potential.

Rocio De Los Santos Posted over a year ago

Es una excelente maestra en estos tres años que mi hijo a estado en su clase mi hijo se siente feliz porque ella a sabido adaptarse a cualquier circunstancia de los alumnos porque cada niño tiene cierta discapacidad se lo merece primer lugar para ella por favor.

Jamie Posted over a year ago

Becca is one of the most dedicated and caring teachers I know. I have watched her as she interacts with such diverse ages and people with different special needs and abilities. She excels at pretty much everything she does. She shows a determination in the face of many hard circumstances that is exceptional and she always has time for those around her! So proud of you Becca - you deserve to win!

Jessica Hughes Posted over a year ago

Becca is one of the most supportive colleagues and friends I have ever had. She is always giving back to the community beyond going above and beyond for her students! She is awesome and so deserving! We love you Becca!

Emma Smith Posted over a year ago

Becca loves her students. She goes above and beyond to provide them with experiences. She is constantly learning new things to enrich the lives of her students.