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Debra Davis
(334) 613-4686

MONTGOMERY A Pickens County teacher, Nita C. Bailey, has been named Alfa's Teacher of the Month for July. As the winner, she will receive $1,000 from Alfa, as will her school. Alfa Insurance Co. and the Alabama Farmers Federation began sponsoring the awards program two years ago as a way to recognize excellence in education.

Mrs. Bailey describes teaching as a desire to serve and love individuals. She said teaching is a commitment to continue studying and planning so that learning will be interesting and rewarding.

"An effective teacher loves learning and is able to pass this enthusiasm to her students," Mrs. Bailey said. "An educator must be willing to study, attend workshops and seminars and be receptive to change. Learning is more effective when children are allowed to explore, to experiment, to be creative and to develop their interests and talents."

Mrs. Bailey received her bachelor's degree from Judson College and teacher certification from Delta State University and Livingston University. She began her teaching career in 1969 in Mississippi and has taught fifth grade at Pickens Academy since 1974. In 1998, three of her students won the National Science Competition and each one received a $10,000 scholarship. In 1999, four elementary students under her guidance were recipients of the regional award and advanced to the final 12 in the nation.

Earlier this year, the Pickens Academy Student Council chose Mrs. Bailey as the Pickens Academy Elementary School Teacher of the Year. She will be honored as the Alfa Teacher of the Month for July during a ceremony at the school May 15.

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 chosen based on an independent committee's evaluation of the applications received.

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