MHS GUIDANCE COUNSELOR TATRO WINS SERVICE ABOVE SELF HONOR
By Melissa Fili
Guidance counselor Martha Tatro has motivated and mentored countless Methuen High students these past 25 years, earning her rock-star status as someone who deeply cares about “my kids.” When a former student – now living in Texas – learned she was being presented a prestigious award from the Methuen Rotary Club, he knew it was time to turn the tables.
Dave Beaudin (MHS Class of 1998) hopped on a plane and headed to The Irish Cottage, where he would sing her praises, be her cheerleader and let her know just how special she is – just as Tatro has done unequivocally for her MHS students.
“She serves others. What a legacy! She not only says it, talks about it, but lives it. It’s really impressive,” he told the large crowd gathered at the Rotary’s Celebration of Achievement.
Tatro managed to get him involved with football camps, a high-school experience he says put him on the path to his career in media coverage for Texas Christian University (TCU).
This year, he was at Fenway Park for a college football bowl game. He was on the field, earpiece in place, microphone in hand – a childhood dream about to be fulfilled.
“There was a such a buzz. And I hear this voice coming through it all. ‘DAVID! DAVID!’ ” he smiles. “It’s Martha. There’s an instant piece of home right there. Just a beautiful smile.”
“I’m just so darn proud of you! I’m SO proud of you!” she told him.
“And I thought, that’s what it’s about for her. She’s someone who’s truly altruistic and lives to serve others,” he said.
Beaudin’s brother Ryan (MHS Class of 2005) also attended the Rotary event and said that, if not for Tatro, he’s not sure he would’ve made it to that graduation stage.
“She was always there to talk to and help me through,” he said.
MHS Supervisor of Counseling John Crocker says Tatro “forges strong relationships that extend far beyond her role at MHS. … Martha doesn’t limit her support of her students to the school day. You’ll often see her attending athletic events and extracurricular events, cheering on her students and reminding them that, as she states, ‘Do what you love, love what you do and life will be fulfilled.’
“She gladly serves her community and finds fulfillment in caring for others and guiding them toward their goals. It’s no wonder why she is connected to so many and can recount countless stories of families from decades past,” he said of Tatro who, in 2011, earned the Mass. School Counselors Association’s Counselor of the Year award.
Upon accepting her award, Tatro gestured to a table of her relatives:
“I am just one of more than 30 educators in the Reusch family (of Lawrence),” she said. “I am what I am because of you; I do what I do with the kids that I work with because of you.”
Teacher of Year:
Timony’s Amy Currie
While each Methuen Public School names its Teacher of the Year each spring, only one is chosen as Methuen Rotary Teacher of the Year.
This year’s winner is eighth-grade ELA teacher Amy Currie of the Timony School.
Supervising Principal Chris Reeve described her as a “model educator” who has been teaching in Methuen for a dozen years. She’s a 2001 Methuen High grad who holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
Currie’s grade-level teaching team at the Timony described her as “a dedicated teacher who truly understands the power that an education can provide. As a graduate of Methuen High, she wanted to continue to inspire this community the way she was inspired as a young student. She plans creative and thought-provoking lessons to engage all of her learners.”
They agree she is “caring, thoughtful, inspiring and – most of all – kind.”
She has served on many district teams through the years, and is part of a team that looks at the ELA curriculum “to ensure that it provides equitable access for all students.”
Testimonials from Currie’s students stated, “She always treats her students with compassion and understanding …” “She is skilled at tailoring to what students need in school … and always encourages us to critically think and form individual mindsets ….” “She is always optimistic, even in our first-period ELA class she manages to teach a class filled with groggy teenagers and get us involved with the material …” and “She allows students to work their hardest and brings the best out in them.”
A grateful Currie said she shares this award with her fellow teachers and administrators “who care so much about the community and students … I look to them for unwavering guidance and support.”
She also shares it with her students “who show up every day, working hard and bringing so much joy to my class.”
MHS Student of
Year Tanvi Patel
She’s only a junior at Methuen High, but Tanvi Patel’s accomplishments and achievements already comprise a long, impressive list.
But even with her Honors and AP course load plus a busy athletic schedule with tennis, track and cross-country, when Tanvi saw a pressing need to fill, she stepped right up and offered to get the job done.
“I want to start a club,” she told her guidance counselor Alison Sumski. “I think we need to bring awareness to different mental-health issues, offering an opportunity for a space where students can come together, de-stress and do mindfulness activities.”
And so MHS’ Mental Health Awareness Club was born, with Tanvi serving as president and overseeing all of the group’s activities.
“This really spoke to her leadership abilities and her desire to have a positive impact on the community,” Sumski said. “It’s been cool to see her blossom in this role. She’s an amazing student and an amazing person, and I admire her desire to give back to her community.”