After several months’ of work – which included the creation of a petition and attendance at a school board meeting – Lockhart Elementary was finally able to formally dedicate their library to late former principal, Martha Martin.
Martin passed away about a year after retiring from Lockhart in June 2012. Two months into her retirement, she was diagnosed with cancer and died in April 2013.
Last Saturday, June 7, the school unveiled a new plaque naming the new Martha Martin Media Center, and remembered her with remarks from colleagues and family.
“Mrs. Martin’s final wishes were to have books donated at the library,” said Lockhart Dana Detelich who helped organize the effort to honor Martin. “After the support she gave her staff at Lockhart, this is the least we could do for her.”
In addition to renaming the library, the school has created a Martha Martin Collection, full of books donated in her honor. Right now, the collection has 74 books available for student checkout in the school’s library.
The collection includes books like “The Polar Express” by Chris Van Allsburg and two books in the “Goodnight Moon” series.
Library Media Specialist Marni Wall said Martin’s mother, Betty Lewis, requested “Goodnight Moon” and “The Polar Express” was included to remember how Martin would read it to students.
In addition to presenting the new name, Martin’s colleagues talked about other ways she would be remembered.
Current Assistant Principal Chanin Lacy-Garner said she liked to call herself Martin’s last assistant principal, holding the position when Martin retired in 2012.
She remembered how Martin always included her and how she was able to persuade others without pushing them.
“(Martin) could sell sand at the beach,” Lacy-Garner said. “She could make you do the one thing you would never agree to under normal circumstances.”
She said staff often happily stayed late with Martin to work and willingly worked on summer holidays, like Independence Day.
Detelich said the effort to honor Martin was not easy, but “well worth it.”
The school will continue to accept donated books or money donated to purchase books for the Martha Martin Collection.