Give newly elected State Rep. Mary Martha Good a challenge, and she will rise to the occasion.
Countless examples from Good’s life demonstrate this.
Good’s late father would’ve been the first to confirm it. Take the time he tried to get her to stay close to home for college, and she selected Pittsburg State University, the furthest-away in-state college from her hometown of Garden City. Or the time he said she couldn’t work at his business, and she ended up taking it over.
Good’s grandfather owned a Chevrolet-Oldsmobile-Cadillac dealership, which was later taken over by Good’s father. One of five children, Mary Martha decided she should be next in line to run the business.
“My dad said a woman could never make it in a car dealership, so I sold shoes for a year,” Mary Martha said.
Finally, her dad asked her to work for him, but it wasn’t until her ninth year there he promoted her. Many years later, when her siblings elected her to give the eulogy at her father’s funeral, they had a laugh at her opening line.
She began, “My siblings voted me to give the eulogy for my father because I caused the least trouble for my family.”
“They knew I gave my father every gray hair on my head,” she said.
Only six months after Good took over the family business, her brand-new fiancé Kyle Good was transferred to El Dorado. Mary Martha moved with her husband to El Dorado, a place the couple has called its home ever since.
Although Good was reluctant to leave her family in Garden City, she said moving to El Dorado was the best decision she could have made. In El Dorado the Goods raised two children, Meredith and Milton, who are both grown and pursuing their own careers.
Good taught elementary school students in the El Dorado and Circle school districts for 26 years.
“My favorite thing about teaching is my favorite success in the classroom,” Good said. “I always tried to make that relationship with the parents count. That’s the real success to teaching is making those connections and relationships with parents.”
Good touched hundreds of lives during her career. She loved teaching so much that only one year after retirement, this semester she took a long-term substitute position teaching kindergarten in Potwin.
Good’s interest in Kansas’ public education policies and funding is only part of what sparked her interest to run for the District 75 Kansas House of Representatives seat she won in August. She considered a run for the Kansas House for several years before her retirement from teaching gave her the time she felt she needed to do the job.
Good’s first stint in public service was when, in her late 20s, she ran for and won a seat on the Garden City Community College Board of Trustees. Good has been heavily involved in volunteer activities in El Dorado, currently serving on the El Dorado Community Foundation board and actively volunteering at St. John’s Catholic Church.
Good’s goal as a state legislator is to consider opposing viewpoints of an issue before making a decision.
“I will find out both sides before I even make a vote,” she said.