Tony Martin retire

North Vermillion High School teacher Tony Martin marks four decades in the school district.

As Tony Martin walks the halls of North Vermillion High School, he receives high fives and congratulations from each student passing by.

You might think he’s the most popular guy at the school.

But after 40 years of teaching at North Vermillion junior and senior high schools, Martin is passing the teaching torch as retires at the end of the 2005-06 school year.

“I just believe teaching is for young people,” Martin said. “I’ve taught for so long, and I love being around the kids, but I just believe it is time for me to go.”

Thomas Barth, assistant principal at North Vermillion, is well aware of the hole Martin will leave.

“He is the complete package when it comes to his personality, his demeanor with young people and his dedication,” Barth said. “I’m not sure if anyone will be able to replace what he has offered this school. He’s a great man.”

Even with all of his knowledge, Martin admitted he learned a great deal from his students throughout the years.

“I’m an old dog,” Martin said. “A lot of students spent a lot of time with me to help me learn how to use the computer because I didn’t know how to use it.”

As his retirement draws near, Martin has yet to set any plans, but he knows at least one thing he will not be doing.

“I’ve been married 36 years and during that time we’ve only gone to Ohio and Kentucky,” he said. “We just don’t travel. We like to stay close to home and near our kids and grandchildren.”

Throughout the years, Martin’s “Mr. Rogers” personality and passion for teaching has greatly impacted the lives of many of his students.

“I’ve had several former students come back and tell me that they became a teacher because of me,” he said. “I never realized my teaching influenced my students that much until then.”

Martin will miss certain aspects of his career.

“The things I will miss the most are the students and colleagues,” he said. “I love the kids.”

Martin thinks teachers should do several things as they enter the profession.

“Get to know the secretaries, teachers’ aides, maintenance workers, cooks and coaching staff,” Martin said. “They are the ones who will come to our rescue when we need it.”

Martin also feels that for teachers to enjoy teaching and students to enjoy learning, teachers need to keep an upbeat mindset.

“Come prepared each day, and do the best you can,” he said. “That’s all anybody can do.”

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