The Somerset Senior Living Center in Crossett recently donated its quarterly non-profit award to the Kathy Ann Jordan Martin Scholarship at the University of Arkansas at Monticello Foundation Fund.
Though her time on earth was short — Nov. 9, 1959 to Dec. 15, 2015 — Martin lived it to the fullest and gave to others until the very end. Her colleagues, friends, and family have established a scholarship in her memory to assist a General Educational Development (GED) graduate from a University of Arkansas at Monticello (UAM) Adult Education Program in Ashley County to attend college at any of UAM’s three campuses.
Martin graduated from Crossett High School in 1976 and immediately enrolled in college at UAM. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with two infant sons in tow. Later she went on to earn a master’s degree in Education (M. Ed.) from UAM as well. She taught first grade in Strong for five years and went to the then-Forest Echoes Vocational-Technical School in 1989 as an adult education instructor. Martin taught all five GED subject areas — literature; writing; science; social studies; and mathematics — and taught in the Workplace Literacy program once housed at the Georgia-Pacific Paper Operations Learning Center in Crossett.
Those who remember her now say that without question, Kathy was considered by state leaders in adult education and by her colleagues to be the best trained and most experienced teacher of reading to adults in southeast Arkansas. In fact, her master’s degree emphasized the teaching of reading. She developed and presented numerous workshops both regionally and state-wide for the professional development of adult educators.
Martin had a profound and God-given gift for helping adult students, friends said, and helped many of whom had never experienced success in learning, to gain hope, see improvement, and turn their lives around. One student wrote in an essay that Mrs. Martin was the first person in her life who had ever told her she was smart. That student went on to receive statewide scholarships to attend college and graduated with a bachelor’s degree from UAM. She has been a successful healthcare administrator now for many years and was just one of so many that Kathy inspired to meet their potential. One GED graduate has earned multiple degrees and teaches in Crossett where one year she was named “Teacher of the Year.” Another earned a master’s degree and entered civil service as a state employee for the Arkansas Department of Corrections. A myriad of others went on to technical training, seminary, or military service. The examples of her fruitful labors of love go on and on.
Many have said it would be a grave disservice to let the memory and goodness that Kathy Martin shared while serving her Lord and her students and family go unnoticed. It is with the greatest respect and love that her family and friends will continue to support her example by soliciting and awarding college tuition and fees funds through the UAM Foundation Fund.
For more information on contributing to Kathy’s memory, call the UAM College of Technology Crossett at 870-364-6414. Fund-raising items can be purchased from a booth at Crossett Mercantile on the corner of Highway 82 West and Main Street in Crossett or from Total Image Salon at 108 E. Third, Crossett.