Chasity Collier, a fifth-grade teacher at Dawes Intermediate, has been named the Teacher of the Year for elementary schools in District I, the Alabama State Department of Education announced Wednesday.
The designation means Collier is one of 16 finalists for the overall 2017-18 state Teacher of the Year award. She was selected as Mobile County’s elementary school Teacher of the Year in January.
“Well-prepared, dedicated, caring, enthusiastic, and innovative elementary and secondary teachers are essential to achieving excellence in Alabama’s schools,” Alabama Superintendent of Education Michael Sentance said. “The 16 Alabama Teacher of the Year finalists are shining examples of professionalism and dedication to Alabama’s most valued asset – its children.”
Collier has served on district-wide textbook adoption committees, and has trained other teachers throughout Alabama and Florida in best practices. She is a state finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science and she helped her school receive a Lighthouse Blue Ribbon.
During her 19 years in education, she has been an AMSTI specialist and coach for the State of Alabama. She has also taught at Hankins Middle and Florence Howard Elementary.
Collier says the two most important days in someone’s life are the days they’re born and the day they realize why they’re here. Her “why” is to teach.
“I love coming to work,” she said. “I love what I get to do every single day and I love these kids.”
Dawes Principal Michele McClung described Collier as a “resourceful, creative, energetic, happy and passionate teacher who is innovative with her lessons while promoting student engagement, relevance, and rigor at a depth that is superior.”
The Alabama Teacher of the Year Program is one of the oldest and most prestigious award programs for teachers. The pool of 16 finalists for the statewide Teacher of the Year award will be narrowed to four, with the award-winner to be announced at a ceremony hosted by the Alabama State Board of Education on May 10 at the RSA Plaza Terrace in Montgomery.
Alabama’s Teacher of the year spends the majority of the school year serving as a full-time ambassador 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.