On Thursday, January 24, district literacy coach Mrs. Lynne Martin inspired, educated, and entertained Mrs. Rachel Jones' seventh grade AVID students at Walton Middle School. Mrs. Martin described herself to students as an "ordinary person who has lived an ordinary life in an extraordinary way." As a veteran AVID teacher, she emphasized the importance of the AVID program, telling students that it helps set them up for future choices, whether they plan to go to college or trade school or into the military or workforce. She told students that individuals' paths to success almost never look the same--and that's okay. She shared the story of her own personal journey--all the schooling, jobs, and experiences she has had along the way. She told students that thought they may not find their "place" right off the bat and might have to stop and regroup from time to time, they will learn a lot of lessons about being a decent human being during their journeys. With a gentle and genuine smile, Mrs. Martin looked students in the eye and said, "You'll always come out on top if you're kind." At the end of her talk, she gave each student a playing card. Mrs. Martin told students that each card should stand as a reminder that we don't get to choose the cards we are dealt, but we do get to choose how we play those cards. Each card she passed out was from the suit of hearts, a reminder that when you can be anything, be kind. By the end of the class period, students were so inspired they applauded Mrs. Martin and asked if they could give her a hug, thanking her for taking the time to share her insights and her kindness with them.
Submitted by Kristen Nelson