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SCES RETIREMENT: Mrs. Martin is departing

Each year Becky Martin along with each of the elementary school teachers have honored the educators who are moving on to another school district or retiring from teaching.
This year  at the luncheon teachers Allie Scott and Lizzie Parker got to join Martin herself May 30.
Martin told the gathering of Screven County Elementary staff and others from the school system in the school’s front lobby they have to continue to think big.
“We have a lot of students here,” Martin said.
Martin, who has 30 years in the school system, received gifts, including an outdoor wooden swing that had to be brought to the front circle on a trailer.
“I am going to miss you,” said Martin, who plans to spend time with her family and travel.
However, Martin will not be completely stepping away from schools.
“My life has been with children and I am not about to give that up yet,” said Martin, who additionally was honored with a slide presentation of photographs taken through the years of her with the teachers and students.
At the conclusion of the point, Martin’s own grandchildren provided messages of congratulations to their grandmother.
Martin said she plans to do some volunteering and substituting in the school.
Superintendent William Bland told the audience he wondered when Martin slept because she would be at the school early and stay late.
“She really has made her mark here,” Bland said. “There is no telling how many hours she put in. I would call over and I would say, ‘Becky, go home. It is 4:30.’ I would hear her call (custodian) Ronnie (Bazemore) on the radio at 6 in the morning.
Lorie Autry, the Parent-Teacher Organization president, said Martin spearheaded the school getting the new playground equipment. Autry said she was more hesitant to spend the PTO funds, but said Martin knew the project could be done.
“I have learned a lot of patience and understanding from Mrs. Martin,” Autry said.
“It takes a village to raise a child, but that village needs a leader,” Autry said.
SCES assistant principal Vonncina Kirkland said Martin has a strong belief in her faith and her family.
“She has a positive approach to everything,” Kirkland said. “If she was a philosopher, her philosophy would be family.
“Becky, we love you more than we can ever say,” Kirkland said.
Kirkland told the crowd that she received a telephone call from Washington, D.C., wanting to know about Martin’s career.
U.S. Rep. John Barrow heard that Martin was retiring during his visit to SCES for the Barrow’s Bookworms presentation to students in April.
On the same day of the retirement luncheon in Sylvania, Barrow honored Martin on the floor of the House of Representatives.
The following are Barrow’s comments which also can be seen and heard in a video at http://youtu.be/F3adWfiFTTA.
“I rise today to honor Rebecca Martin, the principal of Screven County Elementary School, who is retiring after more than 30 years as an educator,” Barrow said.
“Educators are the unsung heroes in the fight for a better life for all of us. Mrs. Martin started her teaching career in 1981 and then went on to teach 18 years in the Screven County school system. Since becoming a principal in 1999, she has overseen a school system that’s taught thousands of students who’ve received too many awards to be mentioned here, all as a direct result of her leadership and dedication to our children,” said the congressman,” he said.
“While I know the students and teachers of Screven County Elementary School will miss Mrs. Martin’s spirit and dedication, and she’ll miss seeing them as much as she’s used to, she can be sure that her teaching and leadership have had a profound impact upon her students and her fellow teachers wherever they go,” Barrow said.
“I congratulate Mrs. Martin on her retirement, and I wish her, her husband, Dr. Charles Martin, their two children, and their six grandchildren all the good things to come in the next step of their journey together,” he said.