CULLMAN, Ala. – Martha Blanton has been selected as the recipient of the 2022 Impact Award given by St. Paul’s Lutheran School. The award is given to those students, teachers and support staff who’ve made significant contributions to St. Paul’s School and their community. It is inspired by the verse:
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 4: 10-11).
Blanton taught at St. Paul’s Lutheran school for 31 years before retiring in 2010 at the age of 62. She attended Calhoun Community College and Southern Benedictine College, which is now St. Bernard Preparatory School. Though she did not always want to be a teacher, her first husband was a coach and teacher, and she was inspired by him to do the same. She first attempted to get a job in the public school system because the Lutheran schools generally hired from Lutheran colleges.
Blanton was informed of a position at St. Paul’s by a neighbor. The church knew her and her family and was selected to interviewed with the school committee. She was hired in 1976 as a fourth-grade teacher. “I was blessed to be hired at St Paul’s. I’ve always been a Lutheran. I’m a member at Trinity Lutheran Church in Hanceville and was involved and taught Sunday school for years,” said Blanton.
She keeps in touch with several of her older students who were in her first classes. “I get notes from some of them. I feel like I’ve had a good relationship with most of them.” The award is given for Blanton’s impact on her students and staff, but she says, “I feel like I’ve gained a lot more from them than I ever gave to them. It’s such a wonderful family atmosphere. I’ve gained tremendous assets from my teaching there.”
Mrs. Blanton will be honored at the 3rd Annual Alumni and Friends Dinner and School Auction at Terri Pines on May 14, 2022. Presenting the award will be Linda Kress Self who was a student at St. Paul’s and taught alongside Mrs. Blanton. Self-stated, “Mrs. Martha Blanton was my fourth-grade teacher at St. Paul’s. I remember her to be one of the most engaged teachers that I have ever had as a student. She truly wanted to see us succeed, grow, and become lifelong learners. She is also a wonderful Christian example and lives a life that makes me so grateful to know her and have her in my life.
She was also my mentor teacher when I began teaching at St. Paul’s in 1994. I can remember sitting down with her that first year of teaching and the inspirational heart to heart talk she gave me. I truly felt at home teaching with her because of the relationship she built with me in fourth grade. I am so blessed to have been able to be a former student and co-worker of Mrs. Martha Blanton.”
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