Two Montgomery teachers have been selected from more than 150 Alabama educators to make the top 16 in the search for the state’s teacher of the year.
Denise Nelson of Wilson Elementary School (pictured on right) and Rachel Dudley of Booker T. Washington Magnet School now will wait to hear if they have been selected for the “Final Four.”
The 2014-2015 Teacher of the Year will be announced at a ceremony May 14 at the RSA Plaza Terrace conducted by the Alabama State Board of Education and the Alabama State Department of Education.
“We’re very proud of both of them,” said Tom Salter, Montgomery Public Schools spokesman. “They are perfect examples of the fantastic teachers we have in our system. As far as we know, we have never had wo in the top 16 before.”
“That means we have wonderful teachers. We have so many good teachers that it’s hard to pick just one, and they had to put two in there. It’s a great honor.”
The teachers in the “Sweet 16” were chosen from a pool of educators statewide who submitted applications for the Alabama Teacher of the Year Program, one of the oldest and most prestigious award programs for teachers.
Dudley has been the visual arts instructor at Booker T. Washington Magnet High School since 2001 and values creative thought during the learning process. Dudley has guided students to win prestigious state, regional and national art awards.
She also has modeled volunteerism by working with her students to create murals for the Montgomery Area Women, Infant and Children’s Center, Hutchinson Street Missionary Baptist Church and MPS Children’s Center. She and her students have conducted art workshops for students who have special needs.
Nelson has been a teacher for 20 years – five years at Wilson Elementary School – and has been recognized with other awards, including Teahcer of the Year honors from Garrett and Wilson Elementary Schools. She has a National Master Certification in reading through Renaissance Learning and has won the Alabama Power Co.’s Power Educator Award and National Board Certification – one of the teaching profession’s highest credentials.
Alison Grizzle, a math teacher at P.D. Jackson Olin High School in Birmingham, is the state’s 2013-2014 teacher of the year.
Alabama’s Teacher of the Year spends the majority of the school year serving as a full-time ambassador for education and the teaching profession as well as presenting workshops to various groups. Additionally, Alabama’s representative is a candidate for the National Teacher of the Year.
This article was written by Kym Klass of the Montgomery Advertiser on April 9, 2014. The picture of Denise Nelson was taken by the Montgomery Advertiser and copied from their website. For more information or to see the original article, please click the link below.