You might think with two parents for teachers that Martha Street, 6th grade Language Arts teacher on the Cascades team, was destined to become one herself, but she insists otherwise. “When I was little I wanted to do something else. I wanted to do something new and unique, and I’ve worked a lot of different jobs, but I never found anything I really loved to do. Then, one day when I was working at the Ashland Food Co-op, my high school English teacher came through the line and said I’d make a really good teacher and that kind of planted a seed.” Indeed it did. This is Martha’s 8th year at Ashland Middle School and her 10th year teaching English/Language Arts.
Born in England, Martha moved to Ashland with her family when she was 3 years old. She attended Walker and AMS before graduating from Ashland High School. Martha spent her senior year on a Rotary Exchange in France, which may have influenced her choice of studies at the University of Oregon. She graduated with degrees in French and Spanish and International Studies in 2006 before travelling extensively in Europe.
But she eventually made her way back to Ashland. “I live here because of the small community and its closeness to nature. I just feel like this is a really positive place to live.” After that conversation with her former AHS teacher at the Co-op, Martha volunteered in a class at AMS and decided she had found her calling. She applied to the program at SOU and got her Masters in Teaching in 2012. Initially hired at North Medford High School, Martha spent 2 years there before finding an opening at AMS. She had come full circle. “I love the school community, and I enjoy helping kids because I feel connected to them. I love being able to be a kid again and helping others find that joy of discovery and learning that comes from reading stories.”
In addition to being an avid reader (her favorite recent read is Barbara Kingsolver’s Demon Copperhead), Martha loves going to the gym, trail running, and hiking. She is a certified yoga instructor and sometimes teaches yoga during the summer. A little sheepishly, she admits she is also a reality TV super fan who has watched all 44 seasons of Survivor. We, on the other hand, are happy she calls AMS home.