POLAND — Mary Martin, principal of Elm Street School in Mechanic Falls and Minot Consolidated School, announced at Monday’s RSU 16 committee meeting that she will retire in June.

On hearing the news, School Committee members rose as one in a heart-felt standing ovation, member Annette Hemond-Annance of Minot said.

Martin said she is retiring in order to help her daughter, who is expecting twins in July.

Martin began her teaching career in 1974 in SAD 17 in Paris and 10 years later moved to the Elm Street School, where she has been ever since, first as a teacher and then, for the past 14 years, as principal. A year ago she also became principal at the Minot school as the district reorganized its administrative personnel.

For many, including Mechanic Falls Town Manager John Hawley, who had her as a teacher, Martin is the heart and soul of the Elm Street School.

“This is heartbreaking news for the town of Mechanic Falls as the working relationship between Mary and I has been one of the strongest and most successful relationships of any community in this state. As far as educators and administrators are rated, you can’t find better than Mary. She is an all around top-notch lady,” Hawley said