Ah, February – the month dedicated to all things love. To celebrate, we asked our students, parents, teachers and staff what they loved most about St. Martha.
We took what they told us and turned it into a love letter to St. Martha. It’s a long and love-filled list! Enjoy!
“St. Martha prepares children for the future by nurturing a solid foundation of love, encouragement, and purpose. Our students know their path may not be easy, but they know that they have the ability to face anything.” ~ Shannon Dauenhauer, middle school language arts teacher
“St. Martha has given my children a solid foundation, not only academically, but spiritually, emotionally, and socially to succeed no matter what high school they attend. The underlying support of this foundation is love. Children succeed when they know they are loved.” ~ Mariann Lawrence, mom and educator
“St. Martha prepares students for their futures in many ways. Hands on collaborative work brings curriculum to life, but also with interpersonal skills that will benefit them throughout life. The experience they get with technology prepares them for the tools of the outside world. Most importantly, the students here know they are loved and have people rooting for them to succeed.” ~ Jennifer Mueller, intermediate science and social studies teacher
“I absolutely love working as the learning coordinator because I get to work with students from all grade levels. I get the pleasure of seeing them grow as self confident students by being self-advocators.” ~ Suzanne Geiger, learning coordinator
“I feel that St. Martha prepares students for their futures by nurturing their “mind, body, and spirit.” The amazing sense of community here at St. Martha provides a very “safe” place to “grow up” from a timid preschooler to a confident, mature, and well educated 8th grader who’ll eventually “run” out of our doors to high school. We help them develop strong roots!” ~ Mary Jo Bird, intermediate religion and math teacher
“My motto for the primary students is “Don’t cry, just try” to create. Now I hear them say each it to each other to stay inspired and motivated. Art is emotional on so many levels!” ~ Annette Thornsberry, art teacher
“I love the community at St. Martha. This is my first year teaching at SMS, but I instantly felt the sense of community here. We build each other up and learn from each other.” ~ Katherine Kuhl, kindergarten teacher
“I love the fact that so many graduates return to St. Martha’s with families of their own. I am privileged to teach the children of the children I have taught.” ~ Shannon Dauenhauer, middle school language arts teacher
“I love my big buddies! We get to sit with them at mass each week.” – Jeremy R.
“From our first tour of St. Martha, we knew it would be the perfect fit for us. It is such a warm and welcoming environment. The sense of community here is like nowhere else.” – Misty Gittings, mom and coach
“My teachers are pretty and teach us a lot of things and keep us safe.” – Georgia P.
“I love the welcoming community at St. Martha! I immediately felt a sense of belonging when joining the community this year. Everyone works together as a team to give our students the best educational experience!” ~ Megan Kuzel, second grade teacher
“I love the teachers and everybody is so nice and they take care of us.” – Charlotte G.
“Recently I have seen a rebirth at St. Martha. The building itself, inside and out, seems alive and fresh. There is energy on campus morning, noon, and night.” ~ Shannon Dauenhauer, middle school language arts teacher
“We chose St. Martha for the community. We know our children are safe an able to achieve academic success in an environment that is healthy and allows them to grow academically, spiritually and socially. We know they are being nurtured into confident and successful young women.” ~ Deana Price, mom, PTO member and coach
“The students are the best part of St. Martha. They make each day exciting and fun.” ~ Eric Brumfield, middle school social studies teacher
“We do lots of fun things in science. This year we have done marshmallow launches, made a bridge out of clay, and studied minerals and made our own crystals.” – Parker S.
“Ms. Brinkman does ‘Granny’s Wacky Prize’. That is so much fun!” – 4th grade girls
“Our Lexia program helps students develop their reading skills in a fun way. I know our Maker Space is growing by leaps and bounds in helping students develop those creative and problem solving skills that are so essential in the 21st century.” ~ Debbie Jenkins, second grade teacher
“I absolutely love bringing literature to life in my classroom! I love finding creative ways to explore the stories we read together. Students are more likely to remember what we’ve read if it jumps off the pages and into their own world. I try to connect what we are reading to their own experiences.” ~ Leanne Willen, middle school literature teacher
“St. Martha does an amazing job preparing its students for the future! With a focus on STEM and technology, students are encouraged to think outside the box from Kindergarten all of the way through 8th grade. St. Martha provides all of the tools a student needs to succeed!” ~ Megan Kuzel, second grade teacher
“My favorite lesson this year is when we studied the different Christmas traditions around the world in groups and we made Christmas trees in the hallway with what we learned.” – Jacob E.
“It’s the perfect time to be part of St. Martha. Our first phase of the outdoor classroom has been a positive addition to our school. Students have helped plan, design, and build this area. They will be researching and testing ways that the community can become more sustainable by planting vegetable and butterfly gardens, using rain barrels to save water, and adding trees to the campus to reduce CO2 emissions. Outdoor learning provides a hands-on experience for the student to use their senses to learn.” ~ Dana Bale, middle school science teacher
“I feel that my students and I prepare one another for the future. Their immersion in technology keeps me motivated to learn about the latest in apps and trends, and I work to instill the knowledge, morality, and history of computing in them so that they become well-rounded digital citizens.” ~ James Key, technology teacher
“In Ms. Mueller’s class, we love using Coaster Creator, iMovies, green screen, and VR goggles!” – Kiera H., Max M., Charlotte C., Bella B., (basically the whole 4th grade)
“Using the VR goggles when we studied the Native American tribes was really neat!” – Brilyn H.
“The one-on-one Chrome Books for middle school are an excellent feature. Students are able to research, collaborate, create presentations, and utilize online learning tools on a daily basis.” ~ Eric Brumfield, middle school social studies teacher
“In science class the kids get so excited with hands on activities. During our sound unit when we allow the students to explore vibrations using a tuning fork and speakers. The lesson is so fun and intriguing they don’t even know their learning.” ~ Kelly Matz, first grade teacher
“A lesson I enjoyed teaching was contraction surgery! My students dressed up like surgeons and cut apart words to make contractions. My students were highly engaged with this hands-on activity and talked about it for many days!” ~ Megan Kuzel, second grade teacher
Focus on Fun
“I like the ‘Kuhl’ class!” – Isla H.
“The sports are great! Basketball is my favorite!” – Brady P.
“Getting a chance to spend time with your friends is great!” – Grayson J.
“Spring Fling is awesome! It is something that no other schools do and it is so much fun! We get to play games and hang with our friends.” – Jessica G.
“I love little buddies! We get to hang out and have fun with them.” – Danielle D.
“Extracurriculars are great here. Robotics and art club are my favorites.” – Jackson N.
“The mixers are really fun.” – Charlie M.
Love of Learning
“I love getting to teach students how to read. Being able to watch a child go from not fully knowing the alphabet to being able to sound out words and sentences is such a joy!” ~ Katherine Kuhl, kindergarten teacher
“Math is my favorite. We are learning multiplication right now.” – Ben H.
“I really like learning and writing in cursive!” – Paige S.
“My students strive to succeed academically. They inspire me to work hard for them, and to be the best educator I can be”! ~ Suzanne Geiger, learning coordinator
“The subject that I enjoy teaching the most is reading. I love the spark in the children’s eyes when they realize that they are able to read a “chapter” book! I love when they laugh at a hidden meaning in a story that they may not have been able to understand earlier in the year because they grow so much in comprehension. I also love to see them sitting on the floor or in our beach chairs totally immersed in a book! That’s when I know they love to read!” ~ Debbie Jenkins, second grade teacher
“Being a Middle School Science teacher at St. Martha is the best job ever! Students have the best sense of humor, are curious to learn new things, their emotions are always heightened, they tell it like it is…most of the time and a bonus- the smell of Axe spray is always in the air.” ~ Dana Bale, middle school science teacher
“I love learning about different religions in social studies with Mr. Brumfield.” – Carleigh H.
“I enjoy teaching the 5th and 8th graders about financial literacy. A student’s financial future will be tied into technology, and being able to impart real-world experience in them is a joy. I’m teaching them skills that they may not otherwise be taught in their educational career.” ~ James Key, technology teacher
“I teach Spanish, and I love it. It feels great to make others part of your culture and new knowledge.” ~ Caroline Rolon, Spanish teacher
“The thing I most love about teaching is seeing the “light bulb” go off when students learn and understand new concepts and ideas. Seeing students excited about learning is the most rewarding part of teaching.” ~ Eric Brumfield, middle school social studies teacher
“I love the teachers. I also love art. It is so fun to color and draw!” – Caroline F.
“At St. Martha we make lifelong friends.” – Lilly L.
“St. Martha School welcomed, not only our daughters, but our whole family into their family. The love and support for our girls has exceeded all expectations.” ~ Ashley Heitzman, Mom
“Ms. Lee is awesome! We love the open gym, free choice days, basketball and hockey.” – Kyle S., Joe T. & Nate K.
“Teachers help us see the bigger picture, mature us, and get us ready for high school.” – Paige M., Lilly L., Allison O., Juliana G. (7th grade girls)
I encourage the kids to try new things so they can learn new things that they never knew they were capable of. They inspire me to want to be a better version of myself everyday so I can set a great example. ~ LaToya Lee, PE teacher
“Teaching is one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life and I thank God for this blessing to be able to use my gifts and talents at St. Martha.” ~ Kelly Matz, first grade teacher
“Mrs. Perkins is fun, funny and has a great sense of humor. She is caring and loves all of us.” – Carson B.
“My kindergarten class inspires me because they have such a deep love for Jesus. They inspire me each time they talk about God and what He does for us.” ~ Katherine Kuhl, kindergarten teacher
“The subject I most enjoy teaching is Religion because I think it could potentially have the most impact on the rest of their lives (both here and for eternity). I encourage them to grow in “holiness” each and every day by doing even the smallest things with great care and joy. I pray often in my class and hope it will lead them to praying often as well.” ~ Mary Jo Bird
“St. Martha prepares the students in so many ways not only in the academic aspect, but how to be good athletes, good citizens, and, more importantly, good Christians.” ~ Caroline Rolon