grade teacher Martha Magenheim has called Pine View her home for the last 15 years. At the end of this year, however, Magenheim is leaving Pine View to start on a new adventure.
In St. Louis, Mo., where Magenheim grew up, there were no daycare centers for the community, so her mother started one in their home. This was where Magenheim discovered her interest in teaching. “When we had teacher workdays, and I was home I got to help my mom with the preschoolers,” she said. “I loved giving them construction paper and telling them what to do. So, when I was 8 years old, I decided I wanted to become a teacher.”
Magenheim began her education career at the University of Florida where she obtained her undergraduate degree in elementary education. She then earned her early-childhood education certification from Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Fla., and her masters from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She later received her gifted endorsement from University of Southern Florida.
Magenheim taught in Massachusetts and North Carolina before teaching in Florida. After her move, she taught in Daytona Beach, Fla., followed by McIntosh Middle School and Venice Elementary School in Sarasota County. She received her gifted certification in 1993 and came to Pine View in 2001. “I really wanted to teach gifted kids because of their creativity and the full discussions [we have],” she said.
“I think the greatest thing about teaching is that you get to learn along with your students,” Magenheim said. She emphasized how her students, even in second grade, are skilled with technology, and that they are able to teach her things that she did not know.
“The most important skills for a teacher to have are always wanting to learn more, [having] curiosity and the skill of finding what makes each person special, so you can address their needs,” she said. She also believes that teachers have the ability to change lives, and thinks the impact of presenting new opportunities to students is one of the best things about teaching.
Magenheim makes an impact on her students because of her dedication to them. Second-grader Natasha Antoniuk, one of Magenheim’s current students, said, “She’s the best teacher. She teaches us great stuff like multiplication and division, and if we don’t get it, she spends separate time with us to review it.”
Sharing her journeys with her class is one of the things that Magenheim will miss most about Pine View. By telling her students about where she has traveled, she hoped to pique their interests and inspire within them a desire to travel. “I’ll miss the great friends that are teachers here, and there are some wonderful families that I’ve made connections with and still keep in touch with,” she said. “Those kids are in college now, and it’s always great to see the kids grow up.”
Magenheim currently has a four-year-old granddaughter, Gabriella, who she is looking forward to spending more time with. She also hopes to practice her teaching skills with Gabriella when she enters kindergarten in 2017.
After retiring, Magenheim endeavors to continue traveling. “I have plans to go to Alaska in September and Spain in March, and Antarctica is on my wish list,” she said. “A cruise around the world — that might be on the agenda.”