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"Jeff Helms, Publications Director"
334 613-4212

MONTGOMERY A Marshall County principal, Margaret Daniel, was honored in August as part of Alfa's Teacher of the Month program.

A 38-year veteran of public education, Mrs. Daniel has been principal of Guntersville Elementary School since 1984. As this month's winner, she will receive $1,000 from Alfa, as will her school. Alfa Insurance Company and the Alabama Farmers Federation began sponsoring the awards program last year as a way to recognize excellence in education.

Mrs. Daniel, who holds master's degrees from both Jacksonville State University and the University of Georgia, began her career as a home economics teacher in 1961. In the years since, she has continued to refine her teaching philosophy as a high school science teacher and guidance counselor. Today, she says her primary job is to create an atmosphere for learning.

"My primary concern for the total well-being of each student is an acknowledgement that learning can occur only when a child's basic needs have been met. Those needs include not only food and shelter, but also such intangibles as love, discipline and a sense of self worth," Mrs. Daniel said.

A former Guntersville Teacher of the Year and Guntersville Woman of the Year, Mrs. Daniel works to develop a relationship with each child that is filled with affection and respect. She also encourages parental involvement, so her students will have a strong home-based support system.

Guntersville Mayor James D. Townson recently recognized Mrs. Daniel for her contributions to the school and her community during a ceremony where Guntersville Elementary was applauded for being one of four 1999 National Blue Ribbon Schools in Alabama.

""As a retired educator, I am keenly aware how important it is to have dedicated, intelligent, talented administrators,"" Townson said. ""During my seven years as mayor, I have been so proud of Guntersville Elementary School and with Principal Margaret Daniel. If I were making a list of the city's assets, I would put Margaret and her school right at the top.""

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