It is down to the final four candidates in the running for the 2013-2014 Alabama Teacher of the Year.
Superintendent of Education Dr. Tommy Bice said the final four candidates for
the Alabama Teacher of the Year have been chosen from an extensive field of
educational leaders throughout the state who have given more than just their
time and attention.
final four are educators who have given all their energy and expertise to help
to prepare students for the world," Bice said.
next step for the final four is an extensive interview with the state judging
committee. The Teacher of the Year winner will be revealed at a ceremony hosted
by the Alabama State Department of Education on Wednesday, May 8, at 6:30 p.m.
at the RSA Plaza Terrace.
Alabama's Teacher of the Year spends the majority of the school year serving as the spokesperson for education and the teaching profession as well as presenting workshops to various groups. Additionally, Alabama's representative is a candidate for the National Teacher of the Year Award.
Tracy Pruitt, Montana Street Academic Magnet School, Dothan City, District II
most basic belief drives me every single day. All students can learn. The truth
is that they all do learn, but how do you teach students on so many levels with
so many diverse backgrounds in one classroom? You work hard and never give up
on any child."
who comes from a family of educators, earned bachelor's and master's degrees
from Troy University and has taught in Dothan for the past 23 years in various
positions. She is a member of several professional teaching organizations, has
served on many education committees and is an active volunteer in her
community. Two of her greatest accomplishments are receiving National Board
Certification and knowing that her daughter wants to carry on the family
tradition and become an educator. She is passionate about getting parents
involved in their child's education and teaching literacy and math. She enjoys
integrating technology into the curriculum because while "good-old-fashioned
teaching is essential," she believes technology "makes teaching so much
Kathy Perkins, Verner Elementary School, Tuscaloosa City, District VII
students' faces light up when they make the connection between existing
knowledge and new material is truly like seeing a light bulb turn on. Knowing
that I am the reason for a connection, either through modeling or by ensuring
students have the proper environment to forge connections for themselves, is a
great reward that motivates and inspires me to teach."
cites receiving National Board Certification and earning an Education
Specialist degree in Special Education/Gifted from The University of Alabama
among the highlights of her career. She has taught in the Tuscaloosa City
School System since 1992 and was a nominee for the Jacksonsville State Teacher
Hall of Fame in 2012. She collaborates with teachers at her school and across
the system to improve teaching, increase communication and provide special
experiences for students. She is passionate about teaching because she believes
education is essential for developing responsible citizens who respect one
another, work together and look for new ways to solve problems.
Jeff S. Johnson, Hoover High School, Hoover City, District III
became a teacher because I believed I could intellectually stimulate those
students who are underserved and underrepresented and engage them in a rigorous
academic process that will allow them to choose a different path in life, much
is the head of the science department at Hoover High School where he has taught
since 1998. The National Board Certified teacher believes he was predestined to
become an educator, crediting his high school and college instructors with
steering him in the right direction and shaping him into the person he is
today. His teaching philosophy focuses on three core beliefs: To be
successful, teachers must create positive student-teacher relationships;
students want to be successful learners, but teachers must meet students where
they are physically and academically; and teachers must be passionate about
teaching and their subject matter.
Dr. Alison Grizzle, P.D. Jackson Olin High School, Birmingham City, District IV
have yet to leave school saying, ‘Today all of my students' lives were enriched
because they had me as a teacher.' Every day that I leave school, I know that I
can always change something to engage more students and impact their learning
After graduating from Denison University with degrees in mathematics and English, Grizzle decided not to pursue a career as a financial analyst and followed her heart by entering the world of education. She has taught math in Birmingham City Schools since 1999 and chose to teach in high-needs schools because she believes urban districts often have more difficulty attaining and retaining good teachers. She is a National Board Certified teacher who earned her doctorate degree at Walden University. Her greatest rewards come at the end of the school year when students receive their graduation exam results. "My students come running and screaming with hugs and tears and are ecstatic to see the word ‘pass' by mathematics. It is that day I see the fruits of my labor."
INFORMATION SOURCE: Alabama Dept. of Education