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"J. Paul Till, Director, Information Department"
334 613-4313

MONTGOMERY A Pickens County high school teacher, Connie Marine Gibson, has been selected as the Alfa Teacher of the Month for April.

Ms. Gibson, who heads up the English department at Pickens Academy in Carrollton and also teaches humanities and geography, will receive a $1,000 check from Alfa as will her school.

Alfa Insurance Co. and the Alabama Farmers Federation are sponsoring the awards program in an effort to encourage quality and reward excellence in education.

A master teacher of English with 24 years of classroom experience, Ms. Gibson began her teaching career at Warrior Academy in 1972. She says teaching provides a "unique and awe-inspiring opportunity to prepare students for the future."

"I am an educator so that I can teach lessons about and for life to one of the most important segments of our society, our young people," Ms. Gibson said. "Teaching is my calling through which I may touch the future."

And, when it comes to teaching, Ms. Gibson earns high marks from Pickens Academy Headmaster Lynn Wright.

"Connie is a credit to the teaching profession," Wright said. "She always goes the extra mile with her students and manages to instill confidence. When students leave her class they are not only better educated, but also better people."

Outside of the classroom, Ms. Gibson is an active member of Kappa Delta Pi, Delta Kappa Gamma, Alabama Writers Forum, Aliceville Friends of the Library, Aliceville Cultural Arts Center and Museum, Pickens County Arts and Humanities Board, Sumter County Fine Arts Council and the Alabama Geographic Alliance.

She received her bachelor's degree from the University of Montevallo, master's from Livingston University and is currently working on post-graduate studies at the Universities of Alabama and West Alabama.

During 1998, the Alfa Teacher of the Month program will honor one outstanding public school teacher from each of the state's eight public school districts; two private school teachers; and two principals. Each month's winner will be chosen based on an independent committee's evaluation of the applications received. Information on the Teacher of the Month program and the application process is available from local superintendents or from the state Department of Education in Montgomery, 334/242-9950.

Ms. Gibson lives in Aliceville and has two children, Larry and Lisa Ann.

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