Gadsden Area Recognizes Teachers

Some 125-150 people gathered in the restored Pitman Theatre in downtown Gadsden to honor Teachers of the Year from schools in the Attalla, Gadsden and Etowah County school systems and six private schools at a luncheon May 4th.

This event has been held for a number of years and may possibly be the only one of its kind in the state where several systems join together like this.  A neat idea for sure.  And I was honored to be the speaker for the occasion.

By my figuring, the 44 honorees recognized have more than 500 years of experience.  And they touch their students in a variety of ways.  Speech therapist, music, career tech, coaching, in addition to elementary, middle and high school classroom teachers.  Nor do they confine themselves to just teaching.  They are year book sponsors, work with student government, tutor, work with school clubs, etc.

Some have interesting backgrounds.  Michael Lamb spent 22 years in the Army before becoming an elementary PE teacher 15 years ago.  Paulette Weaver began as a teacher’s aide in 1992 and when her daughter went off to Jacksonville State to be an elementary teacher, she went with her.  They graduated together with degrees in elementary education.

Brian Boozer was a professional actor in Atlanta for ten years before returning home to teach.  Today he is at his alma mater, Hokes Bluff high school.  Kirby Derrick worked in the lumber and timber business for two decades before getting his teaching certificate.  He has been at Glencoe high for 18 years.

The event’s most poignant moment was the recognition of Michelle Myrick, a former teacher at Coosa Christian who passed away earlier this year after a long battle with cancer.

Every time I am with such a group I always think of how many lives have been influenced by their actions and good deeds. No doubt they have imparted life long lessons on various academic subjects to their students.  But these are not what their students remember most.  For them, each will always be “my teacher” or “my coach” and a smile will cross their face as they think of them many, many years from now.

I told the crowd that I will always believe those who work with young people are truly doing “the Good Lord’s work.”  I believe that from the bottom on my heart.

6 Responses to Gadsden Area Recognizes Teachers

  1. Larry…
    Yes, this is certainly a diverse group of professional educators well deserving of recognition.
    Your comments were very ‘on point’ and an encouragement to all of the attendees.
    Thanks so much for spending some time with us and for being a consistent advocate for education (and educators).

  2. Thanks so much. Glad I was asked to participate. I am very sincere when I say how much I respect and appreciate those who work with young people.

  3. Thank you so much for all the words of encouragement and humor that you shared with us yesterday at this event. I am one of the 44 Teachers of the Year and I can honestly say that my being a special education teacher is truly a calling rather than a choice. Thank you for being such a constant supporter of education and educators in our state. I so enjoyed your speech and look forward to seeing you in the Gadsden area again.

  4. I am one of the Teachers of the Year. I enjoyed your encouraging words and appreciate your support of public schools. God Bless You!!

  5. Thank you for your kind words and support for teachers. The problem we are facing is the same old problem we have always had to deal with as teachers. “Keep them stupid, work ‘em cheap and most importantly they will re-elect me because they can’t think for themselves . Please keep up the fight.