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April 16, 2002   Email to Friend 

Jeff Helms
April 16, 2002

"MONTGOMERY, Ala." Pam Moulton's unique ability to bring history to life for her students has earned the Montgomery educator recognition as Alfa's Teacher of the Month for April. As this month's winner, Ms. Moulton will receive $1,000 from Alfa Insurance Co. and the Alabama Farmers Federation. Her school, Booker T. Washington Magnet High School, also will receive $1,000 for its role in encouraging excellence in education.

A graduate of Troy State University, Mrs. Moulton began her teaching career in 1976 at Lee High School in Montgomery, where she taught advanced placement (AP) U.S. history, world history and current affairs. She earned her master's degree from Troy State University of Montgomery in 1977, and in 1998 helped start the AP history program at Booker T. Washington. As a history teacher, Ms. Moulton said it's her responsibility to help prepare students to be active, informed members of society.

"Teaching history grants me the privilege and burden of contributing to the development of a child who can participate actively and knowledgeably in a constitutional democracy," she said. "(He) can analyze and evaluate the events of today based on a broad picture of the past; can appreciate the diversities of complex American society; can achieve academically and can value himself as he values others."

Throughout her 26 years of teaching AP history, Ms. Moulton has achieved an enviable track record. The majority of her students who take the national advanced placement history exam qualify for college credit. She attributes this success to a teaching style that supplements textbook assignments with a variety of hands-on activities.

"The textbook is the elementary key to open the door to the excitement of learning," she said. "Once the door is open, primary sources provide the panorama to portray the 'real' picture."

Lessons in Ms. Moulton's class might include an examination of historic photographs, political cartoons and film clips. Later, students participate in panel discussions, role-playing activities and letter-writing exercises. Students also are encouraged to draw upon their own families for knowledge by recording oral histories of events like the Depression and the Vietnam War.

Mrs. Moulton was recommended for the Alfa Teacher of the Month Program by both her principal and superintendent. They cited Ms. Moulton's teaching ability and faculty leadership as well as her involvement in community outreach activities like the Great American Teachin.

This is Alfa's fifth year as sponsor of the Teacher of the Month program. During the 2002, Alfa will honor one teacher from each of Alabama's eight state school board districts as well as two private school teachers and two principals. Program criteria and application information for the program are available by clicking on "Alfa Teacher of the Month" in the Ag Links section of the Alfa Farmers website, www.alfafarmers.org.

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