Real Teacher of the Year

From left, Charles McGowen, Rack Room Shoes regional manager; Lara Utecht, DL Rountree Elementary School Principal; Brittany Martinez, Real Teacher of the Year Winner; Beth Bentley, nominator; Alexandra Hemmert, Rack Room Shoes district manager.

DL Rountree Elementary School in Allen received a $10,000 technology grant Monday from Rack Room Shoes as part of the Real Teacher of the Year Award. 

As winner of the Real Teacher Award, Rountree Kindergarten Teacher Brittany Martinez will also receive “Free Shoes for a Year.”

Martinez, an Allen native, was named among five winners of the Rack Room Shoes Real Teacher of the Year Contest. 

To celebrate the back to school shopping season, Rack Room Shoes launched a national competition calling for customers to nominate teachers who have made a positive impact in their lives and the lives of their children. 

A call for nominations began in September and resulted in 175 nominations of deserving teachers. After a public voting period, which took place Oct. 21 through Nov. 1, five winners were announced. 

“The Real Teacher of the Year Contest allowed individuals to say ‘thank you’ by recognizing teachers who have made an influential impact in their lives, while also playing a part in giving back to their schools in a unique way,” said Mark Lardie, president and CEO of Rack Room Shoes.

Beth Bentley, who nominated Martinez, submitted the following letter in her nomination:

Kindergarten is where numbers and letters are formed into grander stories. It is where the small things seem big and the big things seem really, really big! Kindergarten is where Brittany Martinez thrives with her team!  

Over her 14 plus years of teaching, Mrs. Martinez's repertoire of tools has been tried, tested and proven for the sake of the children that she views as family. As a Title I teacher, she has dug deep within to enhance her teaching skills, to grow personal relationships with each family and to teach to the vibrant current and future story of each child.  

She teaches without excuse, giving more than what is expected. She uses everything at her disposal as a tool for growth, including daily smiles, huge hugs, quiet time, dance moves and lots of laughter! Her techniques even engage her own personal family through the making of theme characters that enhance a school-wide theme. She has even worked with her own kindergarten-age daughter to help create gluten free desserts for one student who couldn't eat the traditional desserts.

Her standard is high and firm, modeling great examples for her professional peers. However, there are some things that come from a deeper work ethic. Her classroom comes with loads of love and through very confidently disciplined kiddos who live out the love that they receive. Rountree is one blessed school. It is blessed even more because of Mrs. Brittany Martinez and the legacy that her students will carry for a lifetime.

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