Mrs. Martin: Teacher, Feminist, Philanthropist

Madeline Bierfass, Spotlight Editor

Over the course of the 2016-2017 school year, Mrs. Martin and the Gen21 club have been participating in charitable work with the organizations of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and Oasis to help underprivileged children and mothers. During the holiday season, Mrs. Martin partnered Mr. Gipple and the Gen21 club to donate items such as perfumes and fancy shampoos to Oasis, helping struggling mothers pamper themselves during one of the most stressful times of the year.

More recently, Mrs. Martin held a fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, which provides mentors for children who do not have strong role models in their lives. She collected 886 lbs. of clothing and 663 lbs. of household goods, so that mentors can give these items to their “little brothers and sisters”. Since she was a child, Mrs. Martin and her family have donated to this charity, and she wanted to continue the tradition through the Gen21 club. Mrs. Martin also thought it best to send actual items instead of money so the children can use the items, such as clothing and toys, to their benefit.

Mr. Martin’s work has not only touched the lives of the less fortunate, but also the students of Ramsey High School. Gen21 member Francesca Guthrie has “known Mrs. Martin to be an extremely giving person and this has definitely reflected in her Gen21 leadership. She was very enthusiastic about our holiday women’s shelter drive, and enabled Gen21 to collect 1,500 pounds of donations for our recent Big Brothers Big Sisters of America donation. She’s done some really tremendous work, and I know she will encourage more in the coming years with our club.”

Although she has been teaching here for 25 years, this year especially was unique for Mrs. Martin because she became the pilot adviser to the Gen21 club. When asked by several students to oversee the creation of the club, Mrs. Martin gladly accepted the position because she recognized problems in today’s society like “gender expectations and gender norms,” and wanted “to have a forum where [students] can openly discuss those things and also educate one another”. Due to the charitable and social progress that the club has made, Mrs. Martin feels hopeful for the future of this generation, and is excited to continue helping out the less fortunate through the Gen21 club.