After many years working as an engineer, Marty Erskine decided to forge a new path and follow his passion for teaching. Though the financial compensation is quite different in this career, Erskine said the rewards have been great.
Now Erskine has been named the Stokes County Schools Teacher of the Year.
Superintendent Ronnie Mendenhall, Director of Elementary Education Amy Nail, Principal Doug Rose and Human Resources Executive Director Melisa Jessup surprised Erskine with the award at Sandy Ridge Elementary School last week in front of the entire student body and faculty.
Erskine left Lawsonville Elementary for what he thought was a conference with a parent at Sandy Ridge Elementary, but then he was told to go to the gym.
“I didn’t know why I was going to the gym … I was totally bewildered, shocked,” said Erskine.
Erskine was completely surprised to learn that he had been named Stokes County Schools Teacher of the Year. “I am honored and also very humbled,” he remarked.
Erskine teaches the Academically or Intellectually Gifted program at Sandy Ridge Elementary and Lawsonville Elementary. He has been employed with Stokes County Schools since 2006. Erskine began his teaching career as a lateral entry math teacher at North Stokes High School before becoming an AIG teacher in the 2011-12 school year.
Erskine is licensed in middle and secondary mathematics, special education, academically gifted and elementary education. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Industrial Management with a concentration in Mathematics from Clemson University, teacher certification from Greensboro College and his Master of Education in Gifted Education from Elon University. He also serves as an adjunct professor in the Mathematics Department of Greensboro College.
Erskine has presented information at many conferences, served as a math trainer for the school district, worked as a mentor, and won awards and grants, including the prestigious Outstanding Mathematics Educator Award from the North Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
Superintendent Ronnie Mendenhall remarked, “Mr. Erskine is well-respected by fellow educators and is a wonderful advocate for children.”
Erskine worked from 1983-2006 as an engineer for Burlington Industries, but Erskine said, “I had always wanted to teach.”
Every opportunity he was given to teach a course or program, Erskine took. These all led to his ultimate career as a teacher for Stokes County Schools.
“It just kept coming back,” said Erskine of his passion for teaching.
Erskine felt he needed to do something to make a difference in the world, so he went to Greensboro College to get his teaching certificate.
“I have never regretted it … I absolutely enjoy coming to work every day,” he stated.
Erskine said he is “more than compensated” with the rewards he receives as a teacher, namely, “seeing students achieve.”
As a teacher, Erskine gets to make a big difference in the community. He said, “I think many teachers give students hope.”
Teachers help students improve their circumstances in life, he explained. “It gives a lot of kids hope for the future,” said Erskine.
As he explained in his Teacher of the Year application: “Distinguished teachers view their profession as ‘a calling’ that has the potential to not only influence a life — but to impact society.”
Erskine lives in Madison and has lived in the general area since 1983.
He said, “Teaching in Stokes County, I think, is an ideal situation … It’s small enough that people know you … They care about you.”
The runner-up for District Teacher of the Year was Brian Mabe, an exceptional children’s teacher at South Stokes High School. Teachers of the Year from each school will be recognized at a Back to School Breakfast in August.