Foster Always on the Move
By SANDRA THAMES / Community Columnist
One of the few original Creek View Elementary teachers, Melissa Key Foster allows no grass to grow under her feet.
Between school, church, friends, family and community outreach this lady is very busy.
Foster is the originator of Creek View’s newly established outdoor classroom and butterfly garden. With the help of the resource officer, parents, grandparents, a future Eagle Scout, the Thompson High School art department, donation of mulch from Helena Landscape, high school football players (muscle power), carpenters who built the outdoor benches and the list goes on and on.
“Alabama the Beautiful Butterfly Garden” is in the shape of Alabama with major rivers showing up in the form of River Rock. Lantana, verbena and purple cone flowers are but a small section of the butterfly “menu.”
Future learning stations are being planned. A weather station with digital and manual weather equipment will be housed with funding by Shelby Fence and a PTO grant. A bird habitat is also in the planning stage. Hands-on, outdoor learning opportunities for students to enjoy science, math, social studies and language are all a part of “Alabama the Beautiful.”
Foster grew up in western Birmingham. Her father worked with U.S. Steel and her mom was a teacher/librarian. A member of the color guard at Fairfield High and then a choir member when she transferred to Bessemer Academy, Foster related “I had many wonderful, caring teachers. Dottie Reed and Walt Rogers helped me discover English and Science in a way that whetted my appetite for more.”
After graduating from the University of Montevallo, Foster went on to earn her masters degree at UAB and obtained her gifted education certificate from the University of South Alabama.
Foster is a member of the Helena Athletic Association, Civil Air Patrol Association for teachers and was awarded the Air Force Association State Teacher of the Year award in 2010.
A member of Valleydale Baptist Church, Foster is active in Kingdom Kids and the womens ministry. Hobbies include kayaking, fishing, biking, gardening and working out at Helena Fitness.
“I am blessed to be a teacher. I grew up in education and married an educator (David Foster at Thompson Intermediate),” Foster said. “My only son, Seth Key, is 17 and a senior at Helena High School.
“I am always continuing to grow as a person and teacher. My goal is to glorify God in my work, home and everyday walk.”