This section is from the Davos Newbies website

Mr Martin

It’s been wonderful seeing the people I grew up with after so many years. The clichés about the years melting away are partly true. Some people who I had not seen for 36 years, at a guess, were instantly familiar.

The highlight, however, was the appearance at an evening gathering of my elementary school of our sixth-grade teacher, Marvin Martin. Even though we were all either 50-years old or on the cusp of 50, none of us could bring ourselves to call him anything other than Mr Martin.

As I told him, I was fortunate in my life to have perhaps three or four teachers who were truly transformational. Mr Martin was unquestionably one of those. As the only male teacher at South School he already had a special stature, but he augmented it in so many ways. His classroom was lined with models of rockets and spacecraft. I remember celebrating Sputnik’s 10th birthday in his classroom, with a birthday cake and all the trappings.

But he was most famous for annually writing, directing and producing the sixth grade play. My year the play was Peter Pan. There were two casts, but I can still remember that Tommy Ullman played Captain Hook, Randy Robinson was Peter Pan and I was the Indian Chief (not a big part). Everyone last night could remember their role.

There were perhaps 25 of us from that sixth grade last night, roughly half the class, which is remarkable enough after nearly 40 years. But what was a particular testament to Mr Martin is that each of us could so vividly recall what we did in his class (including his occasionally volcanic eruptions of temper).

Among the clichés of reunions, claiming old teachers as unsung heroes stands high. But Mr Martin is one of those astounding, largely unrecognized people who had a profound influence on almost all of his students.

***Please note: this website is for educational purposes only. ©2017 Jonathon Podolsky

Copyright Marvin Martin Project