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December 04, 2002   Email to Friend 

Jeff Helms
December 04, 2002

"SPANISH FORT, Ala.-" Baldwin County elementary school teacher Debra Chancey will receive an early Christmas present this month when she is awarded $1,000 from Alfa Insurance Co. and the Alabama Farmers Federation for being named Alfa's December Teacher of the Month. Mrs. Chancey's school, Rockwell Elementary in Spanish Fort, also will receive $1,000 for its role in supporting excellence in education.

A 21-year veteran of the classroom, Mrs. Chancey was selected for the award from among applicants in Baldwin, Escambia and Mobile counties. She attributes much of her teaching success to an education philosophy that focuses on creating a positive learning environment for students.

"Education is more than just teaching," Mrs. Chancey said. "Education is caring, communicating, showing compassion and being an advocate for the many children whose dreams are becoming reality and whose lives are becoming America's future."

A graduate of the University of Mobile, Mrs. Chancey helps prepare students for that future by creating a classroom community that functions like a mini-democracy. In her fifth-grade class, students are given the opportunity to serve as town mayors, postmasters, librarians, bankers, store managers, police officers, news reporters, school board members and city council members. This role-playing is used to teach students a variety of subjects through hands-on activities.

In addition to teaching, Mrs. Chancey serves as chairperson of her school's Improvement Team, and she is leading its application process for the Blue Ribbon Schools program. She also has been a presenter at statewide in-service conferences and last year received National Board Certification.

Alfa will sponsor the Teacher of the Month program for a sixth year in 2003. During the school year, Alfa will honor one outstanding teacher from each state school board district as well as two private school teachers and two principals. Application information is 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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