To the Editor:
My name is Kelly Murphy Harshbarger, and I had the good fortune in 1974 to have Mr. Mike Martin as my ninth-grade algebra teacher.
I was a student of Mr. Martin's at Haines Junior High in St. Charles. He was funny, perfectly strict, kind, brilliant and could teach his "Martin's Ways" to even an average math student like myself.
I was a very social student and always had a wandering mind during most of my school years. Mr. Martin had such a great sense of humor, along with being an amazing math teacher, so I actually learned algebra in his class.
He had a few quotes that I still use to this day. On the last day of every month he would say, "If you need to get anything done in March (or whatever that month was) then you better get that done today."
Mr. Martin use to tell us stories about his wife and son. His personal touch connected me to him, and I will never forget my favorite teacher. A few days before school ended for summer break, I had my mom drive me to a dime store in town to buy him a gift for the last day of school. I found a statue with "Bald is Beautiful" on it and knew that is what I was going to get him! He use to joke around about his baldness, so I knew it was the appropriate gift for him.
As I think about the reasons I became a teacher, I would have to say Mr. Martin was one of my major inspirations of my love for teaching! Thank you Mr. Martin for your gifts of teaching, I loved that you shared your math talents, sense of humor, your family and your kindness with me!
Kelly Murphy Harshbarger
New Canaan, Conn.