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Nick’s Kids foundation honors scores of West Alabama teachers

Published: Dec. 17, 2021 at 5:34 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 17, 2021 at 5:37 PM CST
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TUSCALOOSA Ala, (WBRC) - Nick and Terry Saban honored 50 school teachers today for the 10th year in a row as part of the Nick’s Kids Foundation Excellence Awards luncheon. The teachers got certificates, $500 worth of gift cards, and a visit from the coach himself.

“It feels good. It feels good to be acknowledged,” said Emily Pate.

Elementary school teacher Emily Pate set aside reading, writing and arithmetic lessons Friday to ponder on the career she’s chosen, a career that’s brought her joy and fulfillment.

“I love the kids and their joy and their spirit and they’re willingness to learn,” Pate said.

Terry Saban once taught school and Friday reminded her of her time in the classroom so many years ago.

“It’s not an easy job, so I truly admire them,” said Mrs. Saban.

50 teachers like Pate were honored not only by ‘Miss’ Terry, but coach Saban made a surprised visit to the event.

In typical Nick Saban fashion, the coach talked about sacrifice and commitment, tipping his hat towards the teachers who do just that, and so much more.

“Sometimes it goes unnoticed but not to us. How we develop the young people has a lot to do with what is our future,” he said.

For Emily Pate, it’s back in the classroom, molding minds and imparting her joy for learning.

“I love being able to watch that spark when it happens and they get it,” said Pate.

Friday’s gathering at the River Market was extra special because last year’s program was a drive-through due to COVID -19.

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