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Hewitt-Trussville HS teacher in Final Four for Teacher of the Year

By Gary Lloyd

MONTGOMERY — Hewitt-Trussville High School exceptional education teacher Carrie Jones is one of four final candidates for the 2014-2015 Alabama Teacher of the Year recognition, the Alabama State Department of Education announced today.

The other three candidates for the award are Rocky Ridge Elementary School teacher Ellen Anson, Cherokee Bend Elementary School teacher Ann Marie Corgill and Dothan High School teacher Christopher D. Payne.

“The final four candidates are shining examples of educators who have devoted time, attention and love to the education of students in Alabama,” State Superintendent of Education Tommy Bice said. “They have given all their energy and expertise to help prepare students for the world.”

Carrie Jones
photo courtesy of the Alabama State Department of Education

The next step for the final four is an extensive interview with the state judging committee. The 2014-2015 Alabama Teacher of the Year will be revealed at a ceremony hosted by the Alabama State Board of Education and the Alabama State Department of Education at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 14 at the RSA Plaza Terrace in Montgomery.

Alabama’s Teacher of the Year spends the majority of the school year serving as the spokesperson 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 Award.

In her Alabama Teacher of the Year Final Four biography, Jones describes how she was inspired by her father’s example of love and service. Though she originally aspired to be an English teacher, two years into her degree program she felt led to become an educator for exceptional needs children.

Jones established the Life Skills Academy at Hewitt-Trussville High School in 2005, a multi-faceted program that focuses on functional academics, daily living skills, vocational training, recreational and leisure programming, and general population integration through peer partnering.

Outside the classroom, Jones serves as the executive director of Independence Place, a nonprofit program that provides recreational and leisure services for exceptional needs adults in Trussville and surrounding communities. Jones and Independence Place won a Gatekeeper award at the Trussville Area Chamber of Commerce annual banquet earlier this year.

“I believe the art of teaching in the noblest profession one can aspire to obtain…It is the inherent job of a teacher to inspire students to be greater than anyone believes they can, go farther than they think they are able, and give more than they feel they possess,” Jones said.

Contact Gary Lloyd at news@trussvilletribune.com and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.

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