Maness, who was raised in Monroeville, Alabama, transferred from Alabama Southern Community College to The University of Alabama in 2009 to finish her bachelor’s degree in elementary education. She fell in love with Tuscaloosa, and after graduation, she started teaching at Northport’s Walker Elementary – where she continues to teach today.
As someone who truly enjoys working with children, Maness gets to experience a lot of special moments and exciting firsts with her new students. She says her favorite part of the year is taking her students on their first field trip.
Maness says her goal is to never grow complacent with her teaching. She strives to learn new ways to improve and keep up with the always evolving ways of teaching.
This past year, Maness was chosen to participate in The University of Alabama’s Parent Teacher Leadership Academy. This leadership program gathered parents and teachers together to research the best strategy to promote engagement between parents and schools.
“I admire leaders who lead by example and put the interests of their team first,” Maness said. “A great leader knows when to go along with the team and when to go with their gut.”
Maness sets an example by working to maintain good communication with parents, making sure they play an important part in her classroom. She also earned her master’s degree in library media from The University of West Alabama in August.
In addition to her professional accomplishments, Maness has experienced exciting changes in her personal life this year. In February, she and her husband, Chad Maness, welcomed their first child, a son named Griffin.
Undoubtedly, Maness’ caring personality and dedication to teaching makes a positive impact in her students’ lives.
“I think a teacher’s influence reaches far beyond the classroom,” Maness said. “I believe most people would say that their lives were impacted, positively, by a teacher.”