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