Lynchburg, VA - Hutcherson Early Learning Program's Gerin Martin has been named the Lynchburg City Schools Teacher of the Year. Ms. Martin is a special education and pre-Kindergarten teacher, but her instruction goes far beyond the walls of the Hutcherson classrooms. In her recommendation letter, Hutcherson principal Polly Smith commended Ms. Martin on her ability to develop relationships with children, fellow colleagues, parents and community members. "Gerin is the ultimate professional; her work ethic, preparation and positive attitude are exemplary." Ms. Martin has been vital in the establishment of inclusive placements for preschoolers. She serves on many school- and division-wide committees. She is the coordinator of the highly successful community playgroups held twice each week and open to all pre-school aged children in the community. In addition to her special talents as an educator, Ms. Martin has conducted professional development workshops for her peers in Lynchburg City Schools, as well as nationally and internationally. She has also co-authored a book with a focus on supporting the unique needs of boys in the preschool classroom. While early childhood education has been inching its way into the forefront of many professional discussions, it has been the focus of Ms. Martin's professional platform for the past 19 years. She compares her teaching philosophy to the construction of two buildings: "One structure, built on a foundation created with quality products and craftsmanship. The other, built on a foundation with substandard products and haphazard craftsmanship." She bases her career on the firm belief that "Quality early childhood experiences lay the foundation for future school achievement."
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