Inside the Auto Shop

Jacey Brown, Staff Writer

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Three words: funny (“I think”), outgoing, and dependent – that’s how Murray High School’s auto shop teacher describes herself.

To enter Jackie Martin’s classroom/garage is to be transported out of Murray High. As I walked through her classroom for the first time – a quiet senior Flex class sitting in assigned seats – I was nervous to meet and interview who seemed like a pretty strict teacher.

To my surprise, she lead me out of tidy, traditional classroom and back to her office, where traditional has no place. There, in a tool-filled wonder-workshop, Martin’s students have the opportunity to work hands on, learning a subject she loves.

When asked which kind of role she wants to play in students’ lives, Martin doesn’t hesitate. “Hopefully a positive one,” she answers, taking a glance at her flex class through the office window.

She wants her students to see her for the qualities she values most: sincerity, honesty, and drive. Martin hopes, more than anything, to help the kids of Murray High develop life skills and an understanding of auto shop, just like she did when learning the subject.

Where did she get these values? Who does Martin look to as a role model for herself?

The answer lies in the man who taught her most of what she knows, the man who can fix “pretty much anything,” in her words. Her dad, now 90 years old and going strong even after a recent knee surgery, is a clear reflection of the positive influence Martin strives to be. Hardworking and trustworthy, he spurred her into pursuing this career.

Naturally, her family gives her the same relentless support her dad has given her, inside and outside of working hours. “My family is a great support no matter what,” says Martin confidently.

The most surprising information that came out of this interview? She loves to scuba dive! Martin’s biggest passions, other than her job, are family and travelling, both of which come together on family vacations to places like the Caribbean, Costa Rica, and Cozumel — “anywhere with blue water,” Martin adds. It’s in these exotic places that she finds what fills her with joy: scuba diving.

I went into this interview very unsure about Ms. Jackie Martin, but that’s where I was immediately misjudging. Though she commands respect in her classroom, Martin also creates that safe environment for her students. Step through the door of Murray High’s classroom 122 and meet your scuba diving, dad-loving, talented auto teacher; I guarantee you’ll leave with the same encouragement I did.


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