Friday, February 05, 2016

TOP STORY >> Foundation to roast Marshall

Leader staff writer

Longtime Cabot educator Martha Marshall will be honored during the Cabot Scholarship Foundation Roast and Toast Banquet to be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 10 at the Cabot Freshman Academy Cafeteria.

Marshall, 71, is in her 46th year as an educator. She will be roasted by two former students, Lonoke County Judge Doug Erwin and real estate agent Steven Blackwood, and her former co-worker, Jane Balgavy.

“I am honored. It is one of the highlights of my life and my career. I’ve been with the school for more than half my life. I feel valued. My colleagues are all wonderful to me,” Marshall said.

The event will also honor students who are receiving scholarships from the foundation this year. In 2015, the foundation awarded 101 scholarships totaling $105,725.

The Cabot Scholarship Foundation was formed in 1992 by the Cabot Centennial Committee to encourage and recognize academics in Cabot schools. The Roast and Toast Banquet is the scholarship foundation’s only fundraising event. Due to the growth at Cabot High School, community support is appreciated. Donations are accepted throughout the year at Cabot Scholarship Foundation, 200 West Main St., Cabot, Ark. 72023.

Marshall is a 1962 graduate of Cabot High School. She was voted Miss Cabot High and homecoming queen. Marshall and her husband, Tommy, have been married 50 years. They have four adult children: Peter Marshall of Seattle, Susan Marshall of Memphis, Alexandra Marshall of Little Rock and Stephen Ray Marshall, who lives in Dalian, China.

She attended the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia and the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, where she received her bachelor’s degree in three years, graduating in 1965, when she was 21.

Marshall’s first assignment was in 1965 as a first-grade teacher in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Her father was in construction. He would work in Alaska for several months and return to Cabot after. Marshall said her father could earn four times the money than around Cabot at that time. They would stay and visit with her father during the summers.

After graduating from college, Marshall was going to be an elementary school teacher in Springdale. She was visiting her family and friends in Alaska when a school principal offered to double her salary if she taught school in Alaska. Marshall and her husband were there for seven years.

While in Alaska, she was nominated as Outstanding Young Educator.

Marshall was active in her community, serving as director of the Miss Fairbanks Pageant, a preliminary to Miss Alaska. She also earned her master’s degree in education at the University of Alaska.

She returned to Cabot in 1972 and taught fifth grade for a year.

Former school superintendent Don Elliott asked her to join the high school faculty to be coordinator of the General Cooperative Education Program, a position which she continues to hold today.

Marshall earned her doctorate from the University of Mississippi. She was recognized as GCE Teacher of the Year and served as president of the Arkansas GCE Coordinators.

Marshall developed the work program into two distinct programs for students: Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) and internships.

Her students consistently win state competitions and travel to Washington to compete nationally.

Marshall was named Out-standing JAG Specialist in 2013. “I enjoy helping students develop a work ethic. I feel like I’m fulfilling a need,” she said.

Marshall is also an active philanthropist. She currently sponsors Cabot High School’s Junior Civitan Club, which has grown from 10 members last fall to more than 60 currently.

Marshall has served as director of the Miss Cabot Pageant and president of Cabot’s Business and Professional Women.

Marshall was listed in the Outstanding Young Women of America. She served as co-chair of the Lonoke County Bicentennial Committee. She is a member of the Cabot Teachers Association, Arkansas Education Association, National Education Association, the Cabot’s Chamber of Commerce Education Committee and is a member of the Cabot Panther Foundation.

Marshall is the owner of Miss Martha’s Pine Hill Cottage Bed and Breakfast and Dr. Martha Marshall’s Hypnotherapy Success.

Individual tickets for the Roast and Toast are $30 and a table for eight is $240. Tickets are available by calling the Cabot High School Office at 501-843-3562 or from the following board members: John C. Thompson, Nina Butler, Fred Campbell, Carole Jones, Stephen Tipton, Mike Verkler and Angela Wallace.