To be chosen as Alabama Teacher of the Year is a singular honor.  I think of it as winning an Oscar.  The greatest recognition an Alabama teacher can receive.

This year’s winner will be announced in Montgomery at a ceremony the evening of May 8.  It is a special occasion and one that the teacher will remember the rest of their life.

There are eight state school board districts.  Both an elementary and secondary teacher are selected from each district.  This field is narrowed to four.  They compete for the title of Teacher of the Year.

The four finalists this year are: Ana Carolina Behel from Weeden elementary in Florence; Leslie Hughes from Kennedy elementary in Pell City, Leah McRae from Clemens high in Madison city and Jacque Middleton from Auburn high in Auburn.

The other 12 semi-finalists were Scott Parks, Saraland elementary in Saraland, Kathy Hughes from Spanish Fort high in Baldwin County, Laura Traylor from Lisenby Primary in Ozark, Vickey Bailey from Chelsea Park elementary in Shelby County, Kimberly Mitchell from Talladega Career Technical Center in Talladega city, Abby Becker from Hill-Kent elementary in Homewood, Stephanie Huffman from McAdory high in Jefferson County, Catherine Kenny from Pike Road middle in Pike Road, Mashika Tempero-Culliver from Selma high in Selma, Valerie Curtis from Pell City high in Pell City, Pamela Pugh from Mountain Brook junior high in Mountain Brook and Jennifer Perkinson from Goldsmith-Schiffman elementary in Huntsville.

Congratulations to each.  They truly represent the best of the best.  They do the Good Lord’s work each and every day.