Chasity Collier, who teaches fifth-grade science at Dawes Intermediate School, will serve as the state’s ambassador for public education and the teaching profession throughout the upcoming school year. Collier, who served as an Alabama Math, Science, and Technology Initiative (AMSTI) coach from 2008-2015, automatically becomes Alabama’s nominee for National Teacher of the Year.
“This job comes with many responsibilities and opportunities to influence others positively,” Collier said. “Teachers are special people who have a calling in their lives to make all things possible for those with whom they have the opportunity to work. Their significant impact on children defines how their students feel about themselves and what they think they are capable of achieving.”
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced Collier was chosen to serve as the official spokesperson and representative for teachers in Alabama for the next year near the end of a celebration honoring the 12 semi-finalists and 4 finalists who were nominated for the coveted title.
Hoover High School science teacher Robert Paul McEwan was named the Alabama Alternate Teacher of the Year during the ceremony, which is held annually in recognition of these teachers’ dedication to education in Alabama public schools. A 32-year veteran of the profession, McEwan strives daily to inspire a love of learning in his students. The Asbury University (Wilmore, Kentucky) graduate prides himself on using innovative methods to keep students’ hands and minds engaged in learning.
“For many, the decision to teach is a matter of the heart; it certainly was, and remains for me,” McEwan said. “When one is called to teach and is well prepared to do so, then the result is a passion-filled vocation that can be sustained for an entire career.”
State Superintendent of Education Michael Sentance said it was an honor to join in the recognition of exemplary educators who not only transform classrooms but also change the world one student at a time on a national and international scale. He said Alabama Teachers of the Year represent great teaching and provide a model for inspiring educators, in addition to those who wish to continue to grow professionally in their practice.
“Teachers of the Year are, in fact, world changers, and we celebrate their commitment to students and to the colleagues who work alongside them each day,” Sentance said. “These educators have shown our students their potential and given them a preview of the endless possibilities that will support them in college and career endeavors.”