After working at Souhegan High School for 28 years, beloved art teacher Martha Rives is retiring. She loved her job and her students. Her students loved her as well; Paige Colby, Nathan Hernandez, and Corrine McNamara all spoke about how they found her class. Martha has been an invaluable teacher at Souhegan and will be missed.
Martha has been teaching art at Souhegan since it opened in 1992. “Teaching at Souhegan has been an honor and a blessing,” she says, “We have creative freedom here – I have written my own art curriculum from day 1. And I also cherish my relationships with my students, and with my colleagues.” Not only does Martha cherish her relationships with her students, but students also cherish theirs with her. Paige Colby, a junior in Martha’s Advanced Studio Art class says, “Without her classes I don’t think I would be as technically skilled as I am today and she really pushes her students to move outside their comfort zones to succeed.”
Martha’s favorite class to teach was 9th grade 3D design because “I had to do the most thinking and learning about how best to teach 3D . . . I have presided over many challenging and memorable projects in those classes – because they are big, involve groups, and pushed my comfortable limits in terms of my own engineering expertise.” Working in a school for almost 30 years really allowed Martha to finetune her classes to ensure the best experience. Students love her classes and it is because of the effort she puts in to make them enjoyable.
Nathan Hernadez, a junior in Martha’s Advanced Studio Art class says, “Though her class proved a challenge for many, including me, she truly encouraged me to become a better artist and better visionary. She allowed me to peer into her POV, and granted a whole new perspective of art. She let me explore the many wonders of art.” Martha knew how to make her students feel comfortable and welcome in her classes even when they weren’t necessarily the most practiced. Corie McNamara, a freshman in Martha’s Painting class says,”Martha was an amazing teacher, not only did she teach me to paint she also helped me find discipline and how to be focused. She was also amazing to talk to. Her class was an amazing way to learn and relieve any stress from the school day.” Students looked forward to Martha’s classes because they allowed them to express themselves and calm down.
Martha Rives stated, “I’m going to miss coming into my classroom everyday and knowing that I am coaching kids to make art that they will be proud of.” And I know that her students are going to miss going to her class and seeing her everyday. Martha has given so much to Souhegan and it has not been overlooked. She has given us a priceless education in not only art, but how to be the best version of ourselves.