26 Years of Making a Difference: A Beloved Substitute Teacher in District 197

Martha Metz is a well-known and beloved substitute teacher and one of the longest-serving substitute teachers in School District 197. Since 1998, Martha has been a positive presence in all of our schools, leaving a lasting impact on our school community.

Published June 2024

Martha's journey as a substitute teacher began with subbing at all District schools. Initially, she focused on Pilot Knob Elementary (now Pilot Knob E-STEM Magnet School), where her children attended, before moving on to Friendly Hills Middle School. Nowadays, she spends most of her time at Two Rivers High School. Throughout her tenure, she has become one of the most sought-after substitutes in the District. "Subbing in School District 197 is something I truly enjoy doing," Martha shared. "I love the opportunity to get out, meet students, and connect with teachers, paras, and administrators. Hopefully, I can make a difference in the task of educating students." 

One memorable highlight of her career was chaperoning prom this year. Volunteering alongside her longtime colleague and friend Joanne Laubach, Martha recalls the students being kind, considerate, and happy to see her–adding another layer to her connection with the students outside the traditional classroom environment.

Martha has also been a District parent. She is a proud mother of nine children, all graduates of School District 197, and a grandmother to 11. "Growing up, I always wanted to be a mom. My mother encouraged me to have a backup plan," Martha shared. "I chose a path that led to a degree in Elementary Education. Raising nine children was my full-time job. Volunteering in the District with PTA, District committees, booster clubs, and 4H occupied the rest of my time. As the children grew and graduated, I did some part-time work with a friend's insurance company. Her daughter, a teacher and Henry Sibley grad, suggested I apply to substitute teach. I did. I received my Short Call Substitute License, and my life as a substitute began the day after I turned my paperwork into the District in 1998."

Over the years, she has seen many of her former students and her children's classmates become teachers. Now, she substitutes for some of them, including Mr. Friberg at Two Rivers High School. As she reflects on her career, Martha hopes to leave a lasting impression on her students.

Martha Metz pictured at Two Rivers 2024 Prom


"I'm here because I really do like kids! I want them to know that I care about them and that a good education will have a significant impact on their lives," she shared. "Someday, I hope they can say, 'Mrs. Metz was a good sub—she was kind, she made it a good day, and she liked kids.'"

School District 197 is a great place to learn and grow because of dedicated educators like Martha. Thank you, Martha, for your years of service and for making a difference every day.