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Teachers: The backbone of our success

There are over 4300 teachers in the system that are learning new, innovative and effective ways to improve student achievement and in their schools overall. Ninety percent of our teachers meet the federal definition of “highly qualified”. Fifty-two percent have a Master’s degree or higher. New teachers receive intensive support through the New Teacher Academy, a two year program. Most systems do not even have a program of this quality.

To combat the nationwide teacher shortage, the system has created a teacher recruitment program with the University of South Alabama.
So, of course, they are critical to the success of student achievement. Here are the stories of just a few that form this backbone that has led to all of our success.

Regina Everett – Saraland Elementary School Regina makes her classroom come alive by making the students active participants in their learning. Costumed “Native Americans” and “pioneers” can be found cooking, eating and playing time period games. As a National Board Certified Teacher, she understands the importance of inquiry based learning, and is also a mentor for teachers seeking Certification. Regina holds training sessions for parents to help them in continuing the learning process at home. She teaches by the creed “if I had been a child in my classroom today, would I want to come back tomorrow? Her students know the answer to that question. Learn more about Saraland Elementary by going to (J link to school system website Saraland Elementary page)

Angela Kennedy – As a foreign language teacher, Angela incorporates all five aspects of language learning into her classroom including speaking, listening, reading, writing and culture. To strengthen her students listening and speaking skill, she uses a multitude of resources, including visits from native French speakers. She incorporates technological tools on a daily basis, has developed supplementary handouts for parents along with a website that keeps parents abreast of what is going on in her classroom. Annually, her students compete in a national French contest – they have received numerous awards including the top score in the state, among the top ten in national scores. (link to her school website)

Sondra Thomas – Theodore High School The writing program at Theodore was begun by Sondra when she approached the principal and requested permission to offer a Creative Writing class. It has become so popular that a Creative Writing Class II is now available. One special activity that Sondra does with ninth graders is an “autobiography”. The students are allowed to place photos, letters and even money in their envelopes. When the students reach their last semester of senior year, she mails the letters to them. She sees that her students’ writings are entered into contests, and submitted to publications. At one recent contest, her students won 11 of out 15 awards. Sondra does not look at her job as a task, but as an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of her students.

See who excels in your school. Link to site here.


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