VHS teacher recognized by Alfa

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 1, 2005


Vincent High School teacher Debbie Barnes won $1,000 from ALFA. Barnes sees learning as a matter of survival, a reason her students must &8220;grow beyond the basics.&8221;

That’s why she was chosen Alfa’s Teacher of the Month for October and received $1,000 from Alfa Insurance.

Vincent High School received a matching reward from the Alabama Farmers Federation.

&8220;Education goes beyond the classroom basics,&8221; Barnes said.

&8220;It involves preparation for life … The amount of time teachers have to prepare students for life is very short in comparison to a typical life span. We must strive each day to teach the knowledge as well as the skills to be able to survive in an ever-changing world.&8221;

To enhance learning, Barnes often attends workshops such as marine biology training at Dauphin Island Sea Lab.

She also conducts science experiments for fifth-graders at Vincent Elementary School each year.

&8220;Ms. Barnes is one of the most pleasant, thorough and hard-working professionals I have known,&8221; says Gary Minnick, Vincent High School principal.

&8220;Once, after she had operated the clock for the boys’ basketball games, coached a girls’ basketball game and cleaned up the gym afterward, I found her in her classroom at 10:30 p.m. setting up for a lab for the next day.&8221;

A 1973 graduate of Vincent High School, Barnes holds master’s and education specialist degrees in biology education, has chaired Vincent’s science and advanced placement departments and has taught physical education, life science, biology, anatomy and physiology, and advanced placement biology.

She is a member of the Alabama Educators Association, Alabama Science Teachers Association and Alabama Science in Motion. This year, Alfa and Alabama Farmers Federation will recognize one teacher from each state school board district as well as two private school teachers and two principals. Barnes was recognized of all the teachers from the Shelby County School District.

Barnes was presented the award at the beginning of a school assembly.

Vincent middle and high school students clapped and stood cheering for Barnes.

The admiration the faculty and students hold for Barnes was evident as well as the pride for her accomplishments.

The award was presented by Brandon Niven from Alfa and Gloria Tate representing the Farmer’s Federation Women’s Committee