The passing of Martha “Martie” Cherry Fiske on July 21 at the age of 86 in her Weston home is memorialized in an online obituary that highlights her strong presence as a Wellesley High School teacher in the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s.
According to the obituary: “In 1970, she became an English teacher at Wellesley High School. When she did not receive pension benefits because she was part-time, she protested, leading to pension benefits for part-time teachers. For more than 20 years at Wellesley High School, Martie was a highly respected and beloved teacher. In 1985, she was invited to the White House as a “Distinguished Teacher” after one of her students, a Presidential Scholar, named her as his most influential teacher. Less than a year later, she had become so dissatisfied by the lack of respect and support for teachers, that she resigned and publicly criticized the town for not supporting good teaching. She was featured in a televised interview (Martha Fiske Wellesley High School Resignation 1986). In 1988, the town asked her to return, and she resumed her teaching, until her retirement in 1996.”
Fellow Wellesley High teacher Jeanie Goddard told us: “Yes, our Martie was a warrior. Many teachers were outspoken in the sixties, seventies, and eighties, but Martie actually quit the job she loved when she pinned her objections on her classroom door and walked out. She spoke passionately about educational reform for two years. We were lucky to lure her back.”
Our condolences to family and friends.
Please reach out to us to post a remembrance on Swellesley: firstname.lastname@example.org