Marty Green was nominated by his colleague, Erin Bolda.
"I am most honored to nominate Marty Green for Capstone LifeChanger of the Year! When I began teaching at Plainwell Middle School, students were placed in teams and shared common teachers for the four core subjects," explains Bolda. "Marty Green was our team's science teacher and the building's science department chair when I joined the staff in 2000. Since that time, I have witnessed Marty's positive impact on our school's culture, the quality of the science program, the mentoring of staff, and students' lives, including the lives of both of my sons.
"I firmly believe that students need their 'person' as they travel through K-12 education. Marty has been this person for so many students who have come through Plainwell Middle School," said Bolda. "His ability to create a positive relationship with his students while maintaining high academic expectations is impressive. He can make connections with students that other staff find challenging. Throughout the years, I have watched him spend his lunchtime with students, teach them how to tie flies for fly fishing, and work side-by-side with parents and staff to help a struggling student find success. My own children thought of Marty as 'their person' during their time here. He was a safe and trustworthy adult for them to come to whenever needed. He mentored them with honesty and love. In addition to providing a fabulous educational experience for students, Marty deeply cares for their emotional well-being. He does the hard work necessary to reach kids that struggle with school due to trauma and academic challenges."
"After decades as educators, Marty and I have experienced many of the ups and downs of public education. Staying in education is a true commitment and takes a willingness to continue to evolve as an educator," said Bolda. "Through it all, Marty remains a dependable, rational, and solution-focused teammate. He is not afraid to advocate for students and staff, even when the conversations are challenging. He always acts from a place of integrity and high moral standards. Marty has been trusted countless times with private student and staff information. He effectively and compassionately uses this information to support his students and colleagues better. When tasks need to be completed for his department, our school, or the district, Marty can be counted upon to complete quality work in a timely fashion. We have benefited from his steadfast leadership skills through the years and will definitely feel the weight of his retirement."
"Marty's record of excellent professional performance is noteworthy," said Bolda. "In the early 2000s, Marty was chosen as the Michigan Middle School Teacher of the Year. He also worked closely with the Kellogg Biological Station to further learning experiences for his colleagues and students. Marty worked tirelessly with our team to plan meaningful learning experiences for our students. We took yearly trips to the Kalamazoo Nature Center, where our students volunteered on various projects and completed various learning activities. He helped plan academic gaming activities for the end of the school year and activities for our yearly Civil War History Day. He ran an after-school group that created small cars from recyclable materials for the annual 'Trash Dash' race at a local racetrack. Marty's students have always benefited from his creative and hands-on lessons. I have often stopped by his room in the morning just to see what his class was up to. My 24-year-old son still has the solar oven he built in Marty's classroom and the car he built for Trash Dash.
"As Marty Green retires from teaching here in Plainwell, he can rest easy knowing that he has left a legacy that exemplifies all of the very best qualities that a teacher aspires to develop. When students and colleagues reflect on Marty, they will remember his honesty, humor, support, creative lesson plans, and his dedication to improving the art of teaching middle school students," said Bolda.