Meet Your Neighbor – Maggie Bell
Published 9:43 am Monday, January 16, 2023
The Bells moved to Helena in 2006. After having found themselves living in many places throughout the years from Nashville to Indianapolis, they made their way back to Alabama.
“Alabama was just home, we wanted to get back here,” Maggie said. “After we looked around, Helena was the right fit for us community-wise and housing-wise.”
As a teacher at Helena Elementary School, Bell had not always planned to go into teaching. With a degree in nutrition and food science, she was able to teach earth science in North Carolina, where she eventually also received her certification. She then got her master’s in English as a second language. Now, at HES she teaches English as a second language to K-2nd grade. She said her favorite part of teaching is being able to see that moment of understanding a concept with her students.
“When the light bulb goes off, and they start to make connections—especially when you have kids that don’t speak any English at all,” Maggie said.
On top of teaching, Maggie is on the Diversity and Inclusion Council for the city and the nursery coordinator at her church.
Additionally, Maggie was a finalist for CBS 42’s Remarkable Woman of the Year award. Maggie said when her husband said he was going to nominate her for the award, she thought he was joking. However, once the called her saying she was a finalist she realized how serious he was.
“The first words out of my mouth were, ‘Oh my gosh, he really did do it,’” she said. “It was fun and exciting and very humbling. Because, you know, a lot of friends and family just, you know, complimented me. I just don’t like all that attention, but it was fun at the same time.
As a member of the Helena community, Maggie has made the city her home. She loves to frequent the city’s many Mexican restaurants and has been to just about every boutique the city has to offer.
Maggie’s brother Matt Melton, who is a special needs adult, had heart issues a couple of years ago, and she didn’t have to do anything for Helena to rally around her in support.
“We’re very invested in the community, Alabama is home and Helena is where we have been our most rooted,” Maggie said. “I could name off the top of my head 20 people that I could call in an emergency, that kind of thing. Our community’s like our family.”