2014 Teacher of the Year Award: Ashlee Martin


ty-classThe National Right to Read Foundation announces the 2014 Patrick Groff Teacher of the Year Award to Alta Murrieta, CA Kindergarten Teacher Ashlee Martin

Strasburg, Virginia – President Robert W. Sweet, Jr. today announced the selection of Ashlee Martin as the recipient of the National Right to Read Foundation’s 2014 Patrick Groff Teacher of the Year Award.  Ashlee is a kindergarten teacher at the Alta Murrieta Elementary School in Murrieta, CA.

She was chosen as the 2014 Teacher of the Year for her outstanding record of classroom instruction in teaching all of her kindergarten students to read and comprehend what they can already talk about and understand.  “She is a credit to her profession and an example for others to follow,” said Mr. Sweet.  “The importance of teaching children to read cannot be overstated.  Mrs. Martin is a role model for all reading teachers.  Parents of the students in her classes are fortunate to have their children learning to read proficiently.”

Ashlee used the prescribed curriculum at Murrieta Elementary, the Open Court reading program, supplemented with Phonics Pathways and Turbo Reader.  There are many excellent instructional programs for teaching children to read that include the five essential components of reading instruction validated by decades of scientific reading research, but unfortunately, the majority of programs do not.  These components require direct, sequential and systematic instruction in phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary development, fluency, and comprehension.

According to the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP), only one third of school children in the U.S. could read proficiently, as measured by the annual assessment conducted for the 2013-14 school year.  That trend has remained consistent for more than 40 years.

Mr. Sweet noted “Mrs. Martin’s success can be replicated in any classroom in America if the five essential components of reading instruction are taught directly and systematically.  It is our hope that others will follow her example,” he said.

Ashlee received her BA Degree and California Teaching Credential from Concordia University in Irvine, CA.  This is her sixth year of teaching, but her love for teaching began when she volunteered in her Mother’s first grade classroom and her Father’s Special Education classes.

Ashlee expressed her love for teaching this way:  “I became a teacher because I know that all students can learn to read, if taught properly.  During the early elementary grades, I struggled because I wasn’t being taught the necessary reading fundamentals at school.  Fortunately, I had parents who were able to intervene and correctly teach me to read and spell at home using proven strategies.  My achievements in high school and college were a direct result of the intervention my parents provided.”

She went on to say:  “I was determined that if had the opportunity to teach children to read I would use what I knew had worked for me.  Becoming a teacher was a lifelong dream, and that dream is now a reality.  I am now able to help students master the alphabetic spelling system proficiently and provide them with a solid foundation for a lifetime of learning.”

This National Award was presented to Mrs. Martin in her Alta Murrieta Elementary School classroom on October 9, 2014.

Press Contact:  Robert W. Sweet, Jr. – (540) 270-9201



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