Debbie Martin touched many lives during her years as a math teacher at Croswell-Lexington Middle School.
Now, after her death, the community has the opportunity to continue her legacy by helping other Croswell-Lexington teachers and students achieve their goals through the Debbie Martin Teacher Fund.
Established by his family in January through the Sanilac County Community Foundation, the fund provides newly hired teachers at Croswell-Lexington Middle School with financial support to purchase classroom supplies and materials.
Melissa Anderson, the foundation’s executive director, said the fund has raised more than $10,000 so far. While the number of new recruits in the school district is still being determined, Anderson said the money will be distributed to new recruits at the start of this school year.
The fund also complements the Dawn Dennison Scholarship, which was established in honor of Debbie’s late sister.
Anderson said the scholarship awards $1,000 to a senior Croswell-Lexington graduate who is pursuing post-secondary education in June. Usually, the Dawn Dennison Scholarship awarded between $250 and $500, but the additional funds helped increase the amount of the scholarship.
A boy from Lexington will raise money for the Debbie Martin Teacher Fund
Michael McNabb, an 11-year-old boy from Lexington, will be holding his annual lemonade stand from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Foley’s Market, 7252 Huron Ave., Lexington. He will sell cups of lemonade in exchange for donations to the fund.
Donations directly to the fund can also be made to sanilaccountycommunityfoundation.org/funds/.
McNabb’s stand began when he was five, when his parents occupied it at a garage sale with a lemonade stand. When he found himself with several hundred dollars in profit, he decided to donate it to the Lexington Police Department, his mother, Ashley McNabb, said.
Michael McNabb’s lemonade stand has grown every year through word of mouth and media coverage. Over the past five years, Michael has raised $28,800 for local police, fire and emergency services and charity programs, Ashley McNabb said.
“It makes me happy to know that I’m helping a lot of people,” said Michael McNabb.
Ashley and Michael McNabb said they chose the Debbie Martin Teacher Fund for this year’s fundraiser because they wanted to give back to Martin’s family, who they are friends with.
“We saw a great opportunity to give back and bring light to their hearts,” said Michael McNabb.
Learn more about Debbie Martin
Sierra Mendoza, Debbie’s daughter, and Kevin Martin, Debbie’s husband, described her as a cheerful and bubbly person who was always willing to lend a helping hand to students, friends or family.
“There will never be another smile like Debbie Martin’s…I think she was the light in every room she walked in,” Mendoza said.
Teaching was her passion for 17 years, Mendoza said, and she always went the extra mile to tutor the kids or stay after school. Many former students her family had never met approached them at Debbie’s funeral to tell them about the impact she had on their lives.
Colette Moody, acting superintendent of Croswell-Lexington, also said Debbie Martin loves teaching.
“Debbie Martin loved being a teacher and was a true trailblazer. She was always smiling, friendly and ready to help others,” Moody said. “Debbie truly enjoyed her students and made a lasting impression on them by sharing her love for math and enthusiasm for learning.”
Outside of school, she loved being the wife and mother of her three children — Sierra Mendoza, Kaleb Mendoza and Kaiden Martin — more than anything, Kevin Martin said. The couple met at Port Huron’s Boat Night about 20 years ago and were married for about 15 years before his death.
“I was a blessing knowing her,” Kevin Martin said.
She had a support network of family and local friends, including a close-knit group of friends who called themselves “framily.” Mendoza said the group spent together milestones, vacations, birthdays and camping trips in the state.
Martin, who lived in Lexington with his family, died at age 49 on Oct. 26, 2021, of a brain aneurysm, Kevin Martin said.
Contact Laura Fitzgerald at (810) 941-7072 or [email protected]