Judson Journal Winter 2014 - page 8

Kitty Hawk Teacher
Katherine Martz
A Pep Rally For Life
For Kitty Hawk Teacher
She has only been a teacher in the JISD
for a few years
, but she has endeared herself to so many at Kitty
Hawk Middle School. So when she was diagnosed with breast cancer re-
cently, staff at Kitty Hawk decided it was time to step up and do what it
could to support her. Katherine Martz teaches English to special education
students. She says it's been almost overwhelming the support she's gotten
since she began chemotherapy. She recalls, “From the very beginning, I
was surrounded by Kitty Hawk people…they (the school) swarmed me
with support and hugs.” Typically, chemo saps a person of energy, but she
says being at school each day provided a sense of strength that helped her
through even those times when she wasn’t feeling that great.
The school organized a huge Cancer Awareness School Pep
Rally for her before the Thanksgiving holidays as a special send off as she
prepared to undergo surgery during the break. Leading up to the rally, the
school sold bandanas to students and staff on campus as a fundraiser for
Martz. A bandana is her choice of head covering while she goes through
chemo treatments that take a toll on a person’s hair. To show support for
her, almost every one of the 1,300 students present had some sort of ban-
dana on their head at the pep rally.
At times, the rally was quiet and emotional like when students
and staff gathered for the lighting of a unity candle to display solidarity for
what she faces. The school choir singing "Inscription of Hope” was also a
poignant moment. “This definitely made my emotions come out since be-
ing diagnosed,” Martz said. “It was really touching.” But it wasn't all sol-
emn as a number of staff members put their rapping and singing talents
together for a rousing performance, highlighted by the classic pop tune
"Lean On Me," that energized everyone in the gym.
Katie Martz will take that energy and support with her as she
prepares for her December surgery and will use the entire Christmas break
to recover in time to be back at work in the classroom. Back to show that
she's continuing to fight her battle so she can enjoy her family and her
school that care for her so very much.
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