Nadine Lynch of St. Elmo Elementary has been named the Alabama District 1 Elementary Teacher of the Year and a finalist for the statewide Teacher of the Year award.
Lynch, who was named Mobile County’s Elementary Teacher of the Year in March, is one of 16 teachers selected as finalists for the statewide award from over 170 nominees. Two finalists, an elementary and secondary honoree, were selected from each of Alabama’s eight districts.
The pool of 16 finalists will be narrowed to four, and a Teacher of the Year will be announced at a ceremony hosted by the Alabama State Board of Education and the Alabama State Department of Education on May 9 at the RSA Plaza Terrace in Montgomery.
Dawes Intermediate’s Chasity Collier is the current Alabama Teacher of the Year.
“I feel so very humbled and blessed,” Lynch said of being named a finalist. “I wouldn’t be where I am today if I didn’t have teachers and administrators who supported me and pushed me towards my best. My only hope is that I can be that kind of advocate for my students. They are true rays of sunshine in my life and deserve nothing less than the very best!”
Lynch teaches fourth grade language arts at St. Elmo, where she’s taught since 2015. She taught third grade previously at Sand Ridge Elementary School in Hubert, N.C.
Lynch has made an impact in the short time she’s been at St. Elmo, collaborating with grade-level team members and administrators to develop inquiry-based lessons that encourage students to think critically, creating grade-level reading and math assessments to track her students’ progress, serving on her school’s digital literacy and Leader In Me action teams, and implementing a school-wide Student Advisory Survey program, which matches each student with an adult at the school who ensures that student feels safe, loved and supported.
“Nadine’s class is a safe haven for her students,” St. Elmo Principal Sondra Roberts said. “She creates an environment where students feel comfortable to take risks, justify their thinking and collaborate in a respectful manner.”
Lynch said her biggest thrills as a teacher are still those moments where she can see her students grasping difficult concepts for the first time.
“I love the light-bulb moments, when they get something they’ve really been struggling with, and you see that in their face,” she said. “I love when they go to you first thing in the morning, because they know you’re going to be there to help them with something. Being there and that they know it – that’s what it’s all about.”
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.
“Congratulations to the 16 teachers chosen to represent their districts,” Collier said. “Thanks to each of you for the wonderful work you do with your students as well as the work you do to elevate and strengthen our profession.”