People You Can Count On: Marty Lopez

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Some of us are lucky enough to have found that perfect job---one that you enjoy going to every day! That includes Marty Lopez. And this schoolteacher is the subject of our latest “People You Can Count On.”

"I'm a ‘kid’ person, and I just think we're on the same wave length." There are some people who are born to teach our children. And Marty Lopez is one of them.

She's been teaching since 1992. She takes the youngest kids and gets them ready for kindergarten---something she feels is the most rewarding. "I think when you see the accomplishments that the children learn when they start at the beginning of the year and they can't do so many things and then by the end of the year, they're able to take care of themselves."

From learning basic arts and crafts skills to mastering the art of bowling, Marty knows how important learning is to these kids. And that's just one reason why several parents at the West Center For Intergenerational Learning nominated her as a People You Can Count On. "She comes in. She's truly an educational and encouraging person and she is an asset builder," says Program Coordinator Mary LaBrecque.

Miss Marty, as the kids call her, made a life-changing decision this year. She's decided to stay home with her grandchildren and leave the teaching of these kids to someone else. She says her family must come first. "It's been a really hard decision because I like my job. It's not a job. It's like coming and playing all day."

But for now, most of the playing will happen at home and being a substitute teacher when she's needed. Marty helped hire the person who will be replacing her. She'll also be training that person. And administrators at the West Center say, they hope a little bit of Marty still lingers in the classroom.