Hart County Teacher of the Year: Stacy Martin
North Hart Elementary School Teacher of the Year- Stacy Martin
Where are you from and where did you go to school?
I am originally from Cumming, Georgia. I graduated from North Forsyth High School in 2005, and then attended North Georgia College and State University. I graduated cum laude with my Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education/Special Education in 2010. In 2014, I started the journey to further my education with a Master’s degree. In December 2016, I graduated with my Specialist’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction.
How long have you been teaching, and in what areas have you taught? Where all have you taught?
This August, I began my 9th year teaching. My first two years were at Barnes Academy, as their kindergarten/1st grade teacher. In 2012, I accepted a position at South Hart Elementary. After two years, I transferred to North Hart Elementary, where I serve in the special services department.
What was your motivation for becoming a teacher?
My grandmother, Elizabeth Carlyle, was a paraprofessional for 28 years. I watched her pour her life into others, including my cousins and siblings. She spent afternoons helping us with our homework, projects, and studying. She spent summer’s teaching us things that weren’t taught in the classroom, such as planting a garden, canning vegetables, word-working and painting, the importance of knowing how to make the perfect mud pie or sand/dirt castle, but most of all the value of hard work. She was very influential in my choice of becoming an educator.
What is your favorite subject to teach?
When not in the classroom, what are your hobbies or what do you like to do in your free time?
In my free time, I love spending time with family! I have four beautiful children who keep my husband and me busy. I love to cook and have family dinners. Sitting around the table with multiple generations, telling stories of the past, talking about what the kids are involved in, these are my favorite moments and memories.
Can you tell us about a moment in your teacher career that really hit home and made you proud to be a teacher?
My first year teaching I taught kindergarten. In April of the school year, I had a parent come to me and mention how she would love for me to teach 1st grade. I didn’t think much of it. A week or so later, I had another parent make the same comment. I told them I love the student’s in my class who I would love to teach again. Apparently, I had several parents approach my administration and ask for me to loop with the students, and she agreed. It was very humbling to have parents requesting me to teach their children. Again.
If you could give advice to a first year teacher, what would you tell them?
Not every day, not every lesson is perfect, and that’s OK! Let your students see you fail, but more importantly, show them what it looks like to get back up and be successful. More than perfect teachers, children need perfect examples of imperfect people. Live life with them!
What is the best advice you were ever given about being an educator?
Be flexible and ask for help!
What is your favorite thing about being a teacher?
Sharing my life with my students, and them being excited to share their life with me. The good, bad, and sometimes ugly. It is an extreme honor, when they trust you!
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In 10 years, wow! When I think about how short the almost 10 years I’ve been teaching has been, it seems that 10 more are just around the corner. I would like to see myself in a leadership position within Hart County, teaching students, maybe even teachers.
Tell us about your family.
My husband Daniel and I have been married for seven years. I was blessed to become a mother the day we married with two wonderful stepchildren, Karsyn, 13, and Levi, 12. We then had two more beautiful, bright little girls, Sadie, 5, and Emersyn, 1. We enjoy spending time together on our family farm, taking vacations, and spending time with grandparents.
If you could travel anywhere for a week, where would you go and why?
Disney World!! It is truly the most magical place on Earth! I love that it brings out the inner child in me.
What is your favorite part about Hart County?
I love that Hart County is truly One Hart Beat! I love the small town atmosphere, and that my sweet five-year-old little girl can go downtown and say hello to at least five people who either she knows by name or who know her. It helps to build the relationships necessary to really make a difference in students’ lives.