DALE COUNTY PRINCIPAL EARNS HIGH MARKS FROM ALFA
MONTGOMERY Deborah Quattlebaum, a Dale County elementary school principal, was honored in September as part of Alfa's Teacher of the Month program.
A former kindergarten and third-grade teacher, Mrs. Quattlebaum began her teaching career in 1974 at Graymont Elementary School in Birmingham. She has served as principal of the Thompkins Early Childhood Center in Ozark since 1979.
As this month's winner Mrs. Quattlebaum will receive $1,000 from Alfa, as will her school. Alfa Insurance and the Alabama Farmers Federation began sponsoring the awards program last year as a way to encourage and reward outstanding educators.
Mrs. Quattlebaum graduated from Auburn University before earning a master's degree from the University of Alabama in Birmingham and an AA certificate from Troy State University in Dothan. She said her teaching philosophy has evolved during her 25-year career.
"As I began my teaching career, my philosophy was somewhat idealistic; full of excitement with the idea of delivering a service that would both enlighten and enhance the lives of students in my care," she said. "Now, I realize there is so much more to being an educator than what we traditionally refer to as education. I constantly strive to foster an emotionally and intellectually supportive environment that is conducive to getting the most positive efforts from children, staff members and parents."
The recipient of numerous education grants, Mrs. Quattlebaum has earned the respect of parents and her fellow educators.
"Mrs. Quattlebaum has established a model school program for kindergarten that is visited on a regular basis by other educators and young children in not only Alabama, but surrounding states as well. Her leadership has led her staff to hold expectations and ideals that other systems want to imitate," said James Turner, superintendent of Ozark City Schools.
Mrs. Quattlebaum and her husband Ken live in Ozark where he has a law practice. They have three children.