Many people think of kindergarten as not much more than recess, nap time, and the occasional coloring session. However, teachers like Kathryn Maness know the job isn’t as easy as it seems. 

“Teaching kindergarten has been the most difficult, yet rewarding experience I have ever had. I leave work exhausted, but feeling accomplished most days,” Maness said.

New hallways, new teachers and sometimes, a new school. Going back to school can mean a ton of jitters and a brain swimming with new information. How can a student keep it all straight? 

Thanks to our previously nominated DCL Teachers of the Month, we’ve gotten some advice straight from the teachers’ desks. What you do with it, well, that’s up to you. Check out what our esteemed teachers had to say:

Carrie Lucas is still a student. 

“A wise man once told me that when you stop learning, you die,” Lucas said. “So I’m being taught by the best teachers in my life, my students.”

Ashley Koh can’t see herself being anything else besides an elementary school teacher.

“It’s what I’ve wanted to do my entire life, so I’ve never imagined doing anything else,” she said.

Six Alabama teachers have been chosen as finalists for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST), including one local instructor.

Tuscaloosa Magnet Schools-Middle 7th and 8th grade IB teacher Wendy Bramlet is a finalist for the award – the nation’s highest honor for K-12 math and science teachers. The awards recognize teachers for contributions to the classroom and to the profession. This year’s awards honor secondary (grades 7-12) school teachers.

On Friday, Dec. 11, Nick’s Kids Foundation hosted its 4th Annual Teacher Excellence Awards Luncheon, honoring approximately 22 elementary and middle school teachers from the Tuscaloosa City School system and private area schools.

Each school’s principal nominated a teacher who goes above and beyond the required responsibilities inside and outside of the classroom. Ms. Terry Saban personally presented each honoree with an award, accompanied by $500 worth of gift cards.

Several local teachers received educational grants from the Community Foundation of West Alabama. The awards were made at a reception held on Nov. 17 at Harrison Galleries in Tuscaloosa. 

"The Community Foundation of West Alabama supports the educational efforts of our local schools," said Foundation Executive Director Glenn Taylor. "We are grateful to the Reese Phifer, Jr. Memorial Foundation for their support of the Educational Fund at the CFWA."

Numerous local schools were represented, including (from the Tuscaloosa City Schools): Martin Luther King Elementary, Woodland Forrest Elementary, University Place Elementary, Tuscaloosa Magnet and Verner Elementary. Myrtlewood, Maxwell and Holt Elementary from the Tuscaloosa County Schools received awards, as well as Fayette High School.


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By Courtney Corbridge 

Jeffrey Walker is a lot more than the teacher of the week. Now in his twenty-fifth year teaching first graders at Verner Elementary, Walker has also been nominated by his colleagues for Alabama’s prestigious teacher of the year award.

For Walker, the whole idea of teaching came after he graduated from high school. “My high-school teachers were fabulous,” he said. “They all took an interest in me as a student.” And their interest in him reciprocally has led him to take an active interest in his students. 

Druid City Living (DCL) is Tuscaloosa, Alabama's premier community newspaper, covering the great people, places and activities of the area.


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