Ode to Alanna
I have been asked to introduce Mrs. Martin who, after 16 years, is retiring from her positions here at Brentwood at the end of June. While at Brentwood, she has taught math, been the Athletic Assistant, the Grad Council Faculty Sponsor, an Advisor in Hope House, Head of Field Hockey, and Coach of the Senior Girls Field Hockey team. I have known Mrs. Martin for about 18 years and have spent a significant amount of time with her since I came to Brentwood 10 years ago. We have coached field hockey and tennis together, worked out together, decorated together, and we hid out in the Party Office in the bottom of Crooks by the elevator - which most people don’t know exists.
So what should I tell you about Mrs. Martin? First, the facts:
She lives with her family in Cobble Hill: one husband, one son, Connor, two daughters, Delaney and Brylee, and two cats. All three of her children attended and graduated from Brentwood. She also has taught school for two years farther north, in Duncan, and 13 years at Shawnigan, plus 16 years at Brentwood, is 31 years working with teenagers.
She is an accomplished Field Hockey coach and player: She won the National Championships while a member of the UVic Vikes, represents Canada on the women’s masters world cup field hockey team, is Head of field hockey and coach of the senior team at Brentwood. She is also an avid outdoors woman; she can hike and fish with the best of them. She is vertically challenged and has crazy hair - which she says is natural. ;-)
But people aren’t just about the facts. There is much more to people than just where they live or what tasks they do at work. The four words I would like you to remember about Mrs. Martin are enthusiasm, kindness, and fried onions.
If you have spent any time with Mrs. Martin, you know she has unlimited energy and enthusiasm. She makes the Energizer Bunny look like a slug. She gets excited about good things that are happening to everyone, regardless of whether they directly affect her or not. She is everyone’s biggest cheerleader.
Her empathy and kindness are unparalleled. I have never seen anyone who will change an entire 800 person seating plan because one student wants to sit with their friend. You will never meet another person who organizes events who would do that. Her focus is always on making sure everyone is happy. It is truly mind boggling to see her do this, with no thought to the amount of time and effort it will take her. I have tried to talk her out of it numerous times, but she is also very stubborn. Throughout your life you will meet many people, and often you think to yourself, “Are they really that nice?” Mrs. Martin is REALLY that nice!
And lastly, there are the Fried Onions. No one, and I mean no one, has the love affair with fried onions that Mrs Martin does. At every BBQ, no matter the menu, she always wants the fried onions. They cannot be just diced, they must be fried. According to her, the smell is irresistible to customers and they will come running like a herd of stampeding elephants. I am not entirely convinced, but occasionally I honor her wish.
Mrs. Martin will be greatly missed at Brentwood, but no one will miss her more than me.
Mrs. Marci McLean