Updated: Oct 11, 2019
Ms. O’Mary, an eighth grade math teacher, has decided to retire after forty years at Pottsboro ISD. She is a selfless woman, as her life was and continues to be devoted to children and family. Many adore her, and everywhere she journeys, she hears her past students calling her name. She has taught generations of families, and left her mark within the school district and the city of Pottsboro. Throughout her career, she impacted many people’s lives, while teaching to improve the quality of life for others. She is never worried about herself, but instead, how well her kids are accelerating in not just math, but life in general. On Thursday, January 31, her last day as a teacher was served; however, she will forever leave a legacy and set the bar high for teachers to come. She has lived her whole life in the city of Pottsboro, and has made many memories here, especially during her time as a teacher.
Martha O’Mary was born in Pottsboro, Texas, in 1940, and was the middle child among her six other siblings. She grew up a tomboy, following her father wherever he went, loving every second of their time together. Her father, Alfred Fullmore, served in World War II and the Korean War, as her two older brothers Alfred and Ace were also in the Korean War. She spent countless hours on their farm tending their livestock and gardens, and spent time trapping animals with her father, which she started at the age of seven. She grew up attending school in Pottsboro until 9th grade, and was then bussed over to Denison as Pottsboro did not have a high school. She was not a troubled student, as she loved to please her parents. After graduating high school in 1958, she was blessed with four children, which she adores dearly. She is a dedicated woman, and has always wanted the best for her loved ones. To support her kids, she journeyed through a variety of jobs such as a plumber, a telephone operator, and at Texas Instruments. Finally, her path of life led her to the first school in Pottsboro, Willow Springs School. She worked as a secretary, and cleaned the school at night. This continued for five years until her own children began school. After this, she went to college at Grayson to be able to teach English, and later she would attend Texas A&M University: Commerce, to take classes that would allow her to teach math. Ms. O’Mary always desired to become a teacher, but waited until her kids started school so they could both take classes during the day. Most of the time, she would take her classes during the daytime and continue to clean the schools at night. Not only did she clean the old school, but she witnessed the admin, elementary, middle school, and high school buildings be constructed. She also had the joy of teaching physical education, theatre, and tend to the school’s problems such as mowing the lawn and fixing pipelines. One day she says she will never forget is the day she repaired a pipeline on top of the now middle school building, in 117 degree weather. Her life has reflected her passion for teaching. After teaching English for a few years, the school asked if she could take some classes and become a math teacher, and out of the goodness of her heart, she accepted.
After the Middle School was built, she was located in the same classroom for thirty-three years. Students often thought that she had eyes in the back of her head because she would say at the beginning of class “everyone spit out your gum before class begins.” However, it can now be confirmed that she would just say that in general and students would think she was talking to them. Ms. O’Mary was a clever and fun teacher who never wanted anything less for her students. Her standards were high and reflected the potential that she saw in each of her children. The core reason of her being a teacher was the joy that was obtained when working with an individual. Martha values the hearts of others, and was never in it for the money. She claimed that if she were to ever write a book, she would call it “Can You See Me Now?” to emphasize how important relationships are. She believes that cell phones are such a distraction from the beauty of learning about not only other people, but also ourselves. Instead of communicating through wires, she prefers that people would dive deeper into relationships and develop real, loving friendships. She never wants people to sell themselves short of what really matters. Her advice to others would be to stay in school and to be kind to one another. During her retirement years she plans to spend time with her family of four children, eight grandkids, and thirteen great grandchildren that all love one another dearly. She feels she will never be bored and will spend her days traveling with her family, working on her house, and watching her grandchildren in their extracurricular activities.
Ms. O’Mary will be missed; however, Pottsboro ISD is proud of the work that she displayed within the district. The school will not be the same without her, and the impact she had on others’ lives is unforgettable. The tough love that she had radiated to other teachers and to students. She is an amazing woman and the district is sad to depart from her. The district is blessed to have received her personality. There are many amazing teachers that come and go, but the living legend, Martha O’Mary, will never be forgotten in our hearts.
Hannah Fellinger & Mitchell Jones