Shining The Spotlight on a New Teacher at WHS


As the school year begins, so does one of the new English teachers, Mrs. Martin. Washington High School welcomed the new teacher at the beginning of the second semester of the last school year. She may be new to WHS, but this isn’t her first go-around for teaching. 

“[I have been] teaching since 2006. Graduated from California State University Northridge (BA – 2002, MA – 2004) in English with a focus in Creative Writing/Poetry,” Hollie Martin said. 

Mrs. Martin had checked off all the boxes for the position but she still had to face some challenges to become a WHS Staff member.

“My husband and I made some drastic life changes in order to move from California to Saint Peters, Missouri,” said Martin. “We left family and friends behind for new opportunities, many of which we didn’t even see yet.” For Martin, this wasn’t the first challenge she had faced in her teaching career. 

“When Covid first hit, I was a stay-at-home mom caring for two children under 5 and finding some level of success at it, but I wanted more. At a time when many teachers were leaving education, I wanted to jump back in,” Martin said. “I spent six months working towards a Missouri teaching credential and started getting back into the classroom–first as a substitute, then as a private school instructor, and finally here, where I plan to stay until I’m too old to teach anymore.” 

Being at WHS now, allows Martin to find the positives in the hard times and figure out the ways of the school. 

“I’m looking forward to learning more about the school culture, the students, the staff, and the overall WHS Vibe,” said Martin. Now, people say that you will know when you are at the right place and Martin had that feeling when stepping into the position. 

“I ultimately knew WHS was the place for me after meeting the other members of the ELA department and getting to know those first students in the Spring 2022 semester,” said Martin. “Even though I was new to the school and to the area, I felt at home almost immediately. It’s a hard feeling to explain, but it’s one that I haven’t really felt in all my years of teaching. Washington really is a special place!” 

Martin truly believes in the students at WHS, and like most teachers, she wants to see her students succeed. 

“I want to see my students grow as writers, readers, and thinkers. I also think we still need healing from various traumas inflicted in part by Covid, so I’m hoping to help guide my students towards those safe spaces in their academic lives and direct them to the resources WHS offers for their emotional needs” said Martin. 

As a teacher, she has goals for her students but also has goals for herself.

“I would eventually like to go back to school to earn either an EdS or an EdD, ideally with an emphasis on Social and Emotional Learning,” said Martin. “I plan to eventually write that book that I’ve needed to write. Finally, I want to make a small dent in the huge list of books I still need to read!” 

Having goals allows a person to work toward something, but sometimes people can be afraid to do what it takes to achieve that goal. 

“Take those risks, especially now, because you have youth on your side.  The world is your oyster.  Don’t miss your opportunities when they come knocking. You may not always get the chance to open that door.  And if you’re afraid, that’s okay” said Martin. “Take advantage of that opportunity while being afraid.  Whenever I made a huge life decision, I was scared.  But I knew in my heart it was the right thing to do.  Listen to that small inner voice and take the higher, steeper road.  Read Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken,” and take the road less traveled.  You will be so glad you did!” 

Change can be scary, but taking bits of advice from people that experience is beneficial. 

WHS is thrilled to have Mrs. Martin be a teacher to help shape young students’ minds into brilliant people in society. A reminder, Mrs.Martin has a friendly face that is willing to listen if any student wants. “If you ever want a cup of tea, or coffee, or just a chat, come by room 1515. My door is open if you ever need it,” said Martin.