While the elitist Bourbon Republicans who run the legislative supermajority work hard to discredit public education, truth is there is plenty of good news concerning the schools that educate 90 percent of all the students in Alabama.

Rural Schools Collaborative is proud to announce that Lane Sanders from Sycamore elementary in Talladega County is one of eight national Grants in Place Fellows.  She receives $2,000 for her project.

School counselor Sanders, in partnership with students and staff at Talladega College, will offer arts education to the entire school body which does not currently have any arts or music programs. Their hope is that through an implementation of an arts curriculum there will be a positive impact in the lives of the students and foster a warm, compassionate, and enjoyable school culture!

Sanders has been the counselor at Sycamore elementary for five years. Prior to becoming a counselor, she taught math for 11 years at the high school level. She received a B.S. in Secondary Mathematics Education from Auburn University, a M.S. in School Counseling from the University of West Alabama, and her Instructional Leadership certification from Jacksonville State University.

The Grants in Place Fellows program is offered in conjunction with our Alabama Hub Partners at The University of West Alabama.

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A tip of the hat to state representative Tracy Estes of Winfield for being chosen by the Alabama Association of School Boards for their 2019 Legislative Award.

Estes, a member of the House Education Policy Committee, played a key role in sponsoring and advancing the passage of a bill which extends the duration of an Emergency Teacher Certificate from one your to two years and authorizes a one-time certificate renewal.

Estes served 15 years on the Winfield school board and also served on the AASB board of directors.  A journalist for many years, Estes worked for the Tuscaloosa News, Montgomery Advertiser and the Journal Record in Marion County.

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Becoming a National Board Certified Teacher is no easy task.  This designation is considered the GOLD STANDARD of teacher  certification and is an intense multi-year process.

Some 3,831 new certifications have just been announced and only three states in the nation have more teachers earning this recognition than Alabama.  North Carolina lead the country with 710, followed by Washington with 508 and California with 264. Next was Alabama with 244.

With the exception of North Carolina, this put Alabama ahead of any other southern state.  It might be noted that Georgia had only one, Florida had four and Louisiana had six.

There are now almost 3,000 National Board Certified teachers in the state.