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Corwell-Martin planning active, creative retirement

January 09, 2011|By JANET HEIM | janeth@herald-mail.com
  • Carol Corwell-Martin is retiring from education after more than 31 years. The 1999 Washington County Teacher of the Year's positions have included teaching third and eighth grades, being a resource teacher, Title I coordinator for the county school system and supervisor of the Center for Peak Performance & Productivity (CP3) for the Washington County Board of Education.
By Colleen McGrath/Staff Photographer

WASHINGTON COUNTY — After more than three decades in education, Carol Corwell-Martin has high hopes for retirement.

One of her goals was to be skiing at Whitetail Resort the first week she didn’t have to report to work.

Corwell-Martin, 54, said that when she started teaching, she had in the back of her mind that 30 years would be a reasonable goal.

That anniversary came and went, and Corwell-Martin watched for signs that it was time to retire. She said that this summer, she felt the need for a change. She’s leaving after more than 31 years.

“I’d like to work part time or less time and bring in other loves of my life — my family, people who have given me so much,” Corwell-Martin said.

She told her 82-year-old father, who still has three farms in Clear Spring, that she’d like to help once a week on the farm where he raises beef cattle and some crops.

“My real reason I needed to retire is to beat my dad to retirement,” she said with a laugh.

She also hopes to volunteer in the community, possibly for Habitat for Humanity. Her husband of 22 years, David Martin, a high school art teacher, is retiring in June after teaching in Chambersburg, Pa., schools for 35 years.

The couple bought property in Maine 20 years ago, built a house and is considering ways to continue teaching in areas such as woodworking and boat building.

“I love teaching,” said Corwell-Martin, who said she would like to explore her creative side.

She said that while some people look at retirement as the end of the line, she sees it as a time for new possibilities.

As supervisor of the Center for Peak Performance & Productivity (CP3) for the Washington County Board of Education for more than five years, summer was not downtime. It was filled with learning activities and workshops for teachers, as well as the New Teacher Academy.

Corwell-Martin provided professional learning opportunities for teachers. More hands-on experiences, such as videotaping with feedback from mentor teachers, were added.  

She oversaw nine CP3 teachers and 40 programs, including Teacher of the Year, MSDE course work and  professional development plans.

“Learning is as important for educators as students,” she said.

The Clear Spring native grew up on a farm with three siblings, raised by parents who stressed the importance of education. Although neither of her parents went to college, all four of their children earned college degrees.

After graduating from Frostburg State University, she began 19 years of classroom teaching in Washington County. She went on to earn a master’s degree from Shippensburg (Pa.) University and was selected as 1999 Washington County Teacher of the Year.

She taught third grade at Clear Spring and Salem Avenue Elementary Schools, eighth grade at E. Russell Hicks Middle and was a resource teacher at Clear Spring Elementary.

The Teacher of the Year recognition led to the opportunity to work for the Maryland State Department of Education for three years as a Title I specialist for school support. Based out of Baltimore, her region was Western Maryland.

She returned to Washington County as Title I coordinator, then became CP3 supervisor.  

With more free time, Corwell-Martin will be able to enjoy some of her favorite activities, including downhill skiing.

“I’m sure I’ll always have my hands in education, but I need a little bit of a break,” Corwell-Martin said.

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