Holdbrooks finds chemistry with alma mater

Published 1:03 pm Monday, May 4, 2009

Michelle Burnett Holdbrooks teaches chemistry at her alma mater Thompson High School.

She is pursuing National Board Certification and has turned in more than100 pages of commentary, documentation, videos and research to try and achieve this ranking. In addition, Michelle is the Alabama Science Teacher Association (high school level) Teacher of the Year.

I cannot imagine loving chemistry, but Holdbrooks lights up just talking about it. She had previous experience at Avanti Polar Lipids and also worked at an assisted reproductive clinic at Brookwood during her college years.

Teaching at church made her recognize a passion for watching that “light come on” in others, she said. Michelle wants her students to learn to love and understand chemistry – not fear it.

In fact, she believes her love of teaching is a gift from God.

Holdbrooks received her bachelor’s degree with a biology major and chemistry minor in 1995 from the University of Montevallo. Now, she is a THS warrior thru and thru. She said she has no wish to ever teach anywhere else.

She pushes for better conditions and better advantages for her students. She is always available, always interested and always approachable. Holdbrooks is interested in the whole student – his or her home life, extra curricular activities, dreams and fears.

She said she wants her students to know she truly loves them and teaches on each person’s individual needs to develop morals, the capacity for living a full life and success for each student. Each must be held to the highest standards.

Michelle married her high school sweetheart, Tim Holdbrooks. They have a daughter, Sarah Beth, who is12; and a son, J.T., who is 9.