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September 01, 2000   Email to Friend 

Jeff Helms
September 01, 2000

Montgomery A Baldwin County principal, Dr. Robert "Robbie" Owen of Rockwell Elementary in Daphne, was recognized this month as part of Alfa's Teacher of the Month program. In honor of his accomplishments, the Alabama Farmers Federation and Alfa Insurance will award Owen and his school $1,000 each.

Dr. Owen taught elementary school for nine years before becoming a principal-teacher in 1993. After serving as principal of Daphne Elementary School for several years, he helped open new Rockwell Elementary in 1997.

As principal, he implemented a school-wide program called "Discipline Based Arts Education," which incorporates visual arts, dance, theater and music into the curriculum. He also has secured funds to put a computer in every classroom, and has implemented a "Preludes" program allowing the Mobile Symphony Orchestra to instruct first-grade through third-grade classes on a weekly basis. Owen also sponsors an after-school-tutoring program to help children learn to read.

"Children must be given a multitude of opportunities allowing them to experience success and eventually determine their own lifetime goals, ambitions and dreams," he said. "Schools must be equipped with enthusiastic, knowledgeable teachers; a safe, stimulating environment and a determined vision to help children find success--regardless of their intellectual abilities."

Dr. Owen organized and directs the school's 60-member choir and has written and recorded two educational albums for children, "Ready, Set, Go" and "Success Express." In 1995, the Mobile Register named him one of "Sixty Leaders for the Next Century."

"Mr. Owen made learning so much fun," said former student Brian Thorpe. "But most of all, everyone knew how much he cared. It didn't matter who you were or how smart you were, he was there to help you reach your potential."

During 2000, the Alfa Teacher of the Month program will honor one outstanding public school teacher from each of the state's eight public school board districts; two private school teachers and two principals. Each winner is selected based on an independent committee's evaluation of the applications received.

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