Thursday night Stooksbury, who retired last week, was honored by her second family, the Hawkins County School System, for 41 years as a teacher — the last 11 of which were as director of Adult Education.
Director of Schools Charlotte Britton said Stooksbury has dedicated the past decade encouraging adults to become lifelong learners.
“Martha and her staff work with adult learners to help develop self direction, become self motivated, and experience the self sufficiency necessary to lead productive, fulfilling lives as (citizens) of Hawkins County,” Britton said.
Stooksbury’s teaching career in Hawkins County Schools began in 1972, and she took over as adult education director in 2002.
Britton added, “Since that time Martha has impacted the lives of adults, not only through Hawkins County’s adult ed program, but in her role in the Hawkins County Literacy Council. She has encouraged many adults to complete the general education diploma and then has gone the step further, to assist them in finding opportunities in the workplace, and in the community.”
Before officially handing her keys over to Britton, Stooksbury thanks her Hawkins County school family, the Board of Education, and Britton.
“I don’t just see people, I see families,” Stooksbury said. “After 40 years association with Hawkins County Schools, we are family, and that’s what is important in a school system. We are here to help children of all ages, whether it be pre-K, up through adults.”
She added, “As I get ready to open up a new door to my life, it is both with happiness, and just a tinge of sadness. As someone said, what are you going to do? I’m sure I will find plenty to do, according to those who are retired.”