Mr. Martinson to retire with memorable moments and plans for the future


Maria Kotob

Gus Martinson with his sophomore students (from left) Sadie Cook, Austin Monell, Sophia Cecelio, Rachel Rallo.

MARIA KOTOB, Staff Writer, Editor

Every student, throughout their high school experience, has come upon a teacher who pushes their classes to work their hardest, get all of their work done, and keep off of their phones throughout the whole block. But those students learn to become grateful for those teachers. This year, Gloucester High School will lose Gus Martinson, a tough, yet caring, mathematics teacher.

It’s common for people to question math teachers as to why they pursue careers in the mathematics department. For many, it is because they enjoy math and it has always been their strongest subject in school. But for Martinson, math had been his most difficult subject in school. Because of this, he pushed himself to put extra time into his work to understand the concepts. When he did well on a math entrance exam in college, his professors encouraged him to pursue a major in math.

“I love teaching geometry, I love the logic involved. The logic follows through for my programming experience because in geometry there is a lot of logic and programming,” said Martinson. “So initially I really enjoyed that. Then I started teaching Algebra 2, which I loved to teach because it was one of my hardest subjects when I was in high school.”

“This past month because I finished what I needed to do for my geometry classes, I started teaching them how to program their Texas Instruments using basic programming. They’re writing their own programs which is great,” said Martinson.

Martinson began his career in education in 1973 when he worked as a teacher at Everett high school until 1981, when proposition 2.5 was instituted in Massachusetts. This limited the amount of taxes for real estate that cities could collect, costing many people their jobs. From there, he worked for Verizon as a computer programmer, then manager for 20 years, and retired after being asked to move to Texas. In 2001, he began teaching at Arlington High School for two years until he became the human resource consultant for 10 years.

After being principal at Marblehead High School for a year, Martinson realized he wanted to be back in a classroom teaching students, so when Gloucester High School was hiring for a math teacher, he applied and was given the job to start full time in January of 2010.

“The kids were the best part of working here. I couldn’t have asked for better classes, period. I love working with the kids,” said Martinson.

After retirement, Martinson plans to teach one night a week at one of the local colleges. He will also take one course a semester. He plans to do photography, which has been a hobby of his for several years. He hopes to travel but for now will continue living on Cape Cod.

“In addition to the classes, I had started my doctorate program years ago and I stopped because my children were going into college and that was more important at the time to focus on. But I’d like to get my doctorates,” said Martinson. “And although it won’t do me any good for good for getting jobs and such, it was on my bucket list so I’d like to do that.”

An important part of many teachers careers’ is to create a relationship with each of the students so they can work together to get the student a grade they deserve. For Martinson, his pin-up board is his proof of the relationships he has made with his students.

“They’re the things that the kids have given me this year. The little tidbits that they have given me so I post those. And those mean a lot to me because it means that I have formed some sort of bond with certain kids in the class and that means a lot to me,” said Martinson.

These bonds create an impression on the students, formed many fond memories between the two. Because of this, he will be missed by many students.

“Mr. Martinson gave a 100% in the classroom. He’s a really great person and he worked to make his classrooms engaging and fun while still teaching us a lot,” said junior Gabby Machado. “I will definitely miss him being a teacher here, and I’m sure it is the same for many other students.”

Special cases come hand-in-hand with teacher-student bonds, and those moments are the ones that stick with teachers forever. For Martinson, he had one moment that he knows will last him for years to come.

“My most memorable moment was last year. I had been sick for a while. And when I came back the captain of the basketball team brought in a basketball and wrote something really nice on it and had the team sign it. It meant the world to me,” said Martinson. “I have it at home and I’ve got it in-cased. It’s just one of the most respectful things that has happened to me since I’ve been here. And this is a kid that I was on his case everyday. But it was one of the kindest things that has happened.”

Although he will no longer be teaching at Gloucester High, he hopes that his lessons, whether it be math or life, will stick with the students that have been a part of his GHS experience.

“What I try to impress upon all my students is to never give up on being the best that you can. Not all of us are going to be good at math or science or anything but do the best that you can because that’s what you judge yourself on. You judge yourself on how much you put into it, not if you’re the top in your class,” said Martinson. “If you did your best, then you gotta be proud of that. Because you did your best.”