HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. (October 11, 2019) – Becca Martin of Hillandale Elementary has been named district representative for the North Carolina’s Exceptional Children’s Educator of Excellence, and will represent Henderson County Public Schools at the statewide annual conference November in Greensboro.
A member of the HCPS Family for 7 years, Martin began serving Hendersonville Elementary as an Exceptional Children teacher assistant in 2012, and became an Exceptional Children teacher at Hillandale in 2015.
Martin provides leadership opportunities for the students in her Intensive Intervention classroom at Hillandale, actively seeking out enrichment activities to meet their needs – from incorporating technology and robotics into her classroom to taking her students into a local apple orchard for hands-on learning.
“Ms. Martin is passionate about helping her students grow and meet their potential,” said HCPS Director of Exceptional Children Jennifer Shelton. “When you walk into her classroom, her students are actively engaged in learning and clearly love Ms. Martin because she is kind and compassionate.”
For example, “At the beginning of the year, Becca had her students write down all the things that they thought they couldn’t do on pieces of paper. Then, they took them outside and had a funeral for ‘I Can’t’ and buried those statements in the back yard,” said Hillandale Principal Kelly Pratt.
“Becca is a really amazing teacher. She does not let her students’ disabilities define what they can do,” Pratt said. “She pushes her students to be more independent, but she makes it fun and exciting.”
Embodying the Leader In Me whole-school leadership model implemented this year at Hillandale, Martin serves on the School Improvement Team as well as the Lighthouse Team – which promotes the Leader In Me and supports staff in implementation of the model, and coordinates the work required to achieve and maintain Lighthouse status.
Martin is also program co-coordinator for Special Olympics Henderson County, overseeing the implementation of local Special Olympics activities. In this role, Martin co-leads the committee that provides sports training, competition opportunities, and health and wellness initiatives for Henderson County children and adults who have intellectual disabilities. For the past several years, Special Olympics Henderson County has expanded the local spring and fall games under Martin’s organization and leadership.
“The love that Becca has for her students and this community is apparent in everything that she does and says,” Pratt said. “When I am around Becca, she inspires me to be a better leader.”