Madison, Florence teachers in top 4 of Alabama Teacher of the Year finalists

The list of 16 finalists for Alabama Teacher of the Year has been narrowed to four of Alabama’s most outstanding educators.

Posted: Apr. 29, 2019 11:58 AM

The Alabama Department of Education issued this press release Monday:

Montgomery, Ala. – The list of 16 finalists for Alabama Teacher of the Year has been narrowed to four of Alabama’s most outstanding educators. Each is described as a true classroom ambassador. The official finalists are:

Elementary

Ana Carolina Behel, Weeden Elementary School, Florence City School System, State School Board District Seven

Leslie Hughes, Walter M. Kennedy Elementary School, Pell City School System, State School Board District Six

Secondary

Leah McRae, James Clemens High School, Madison City School System, State School Board District Eight

Jacque Middleton, Auburn High School, Auburn City School System, State School Board District Two

The next step for the final four is an extensive interview with the state judging committee. The 2019-2020 Alabama Teacher of the Year will be announced during a ceremony hosted by the Alabama State Board of Education and the Alabama State Department of Education at 6 p.m., Wednesday, May 8, 2019, at the RSA Plaza Terrace in Montgomery, Alabama.

Alabama’s Teacher of the Year spends the majority of the school year serving as a spokesperson for education and the teaching profession, as well as presenting workshops to various groups statewide. Additionally, Alabama’s representative is a candidate for the National Teacher of the Year Award.

Ana Carolina Behel, Weeden Elementary School,

Florence City School System

National Board Certified Teacher Ana Carolina Behel enjoys working with English Language Development students and families. A first-generation college graduate, she believes all students deserve an equitable education taught by highly skilled educators. Her personal experiences have inspired her to use a student-centered approach. In the classroom, she focuses on designing interesting and challenging classroom activities that fully engage students.

Leah McRae, James Clemens High School,

Madison City School System

When National Board Certified Teacher Leah McRae considered a career path, she remembered how rewarding her own K-12 educational experience had been. She wanted to inspire young people. Today in her classroom, she works hard to ensure all students have a clear understanding of core science theory, biotechnology, and STEM concepts. She focuses on building student achievement through proven best practices and real-world learning.

Leslie Hughes, Walter M. Kennedy Elementary School,

Pell City School System

National Board Certified Teacher Leslie Hughes is a true advocate for students. She works to remove barriers between school and home, which could decrease classroom learning. She established an award-winning robotics and writing club in her local community and often mentors new teachers throughout our state. She is committed to academic excellence.

Jacque Middleton, Auburn High School,

Auburn City School System

By the age of 11, Jacque Middleton had lived in three different cities and had already attended four different schools. She always found real comfort in her schoolwork. No one in her family was surprised when she decided to pursue a career in teaching K-12 science and STEM-related classes. She now teaches engineering courses at Auburn High School and sponsors local Science Olympiads, Engineering Fairs, and other innovative academic events throughout her community. She is focused on promoting student success through technology.

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