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July 03, 2003   Email to Friend 

TUSCALOOSA PRINCIPAL HELPS STUDENTS REACH FULL POTENTIAL
Jeff Helms
(334) 613-4212
July 03, 2003

Bruce Prescott, center, celebrates the selection of Oak Hill School as a Literacy Demonstration Site with his students.
MONTGOMERY, Ala.-- Bruce Prescott's hands-on management style and commitment to helping students reach their full potential earned the Tuscaloosa principal Alfa's Teacher of the Month Award for July.

As this month's winner, Prescott will receive $1,000 from Alfa Insurance Co., and his school will receive a matching award from the Alabama Farmers Federation.

Prescott earned his bachelor's, master's and education specialist degrees from the University of Alabama, where he currently is completing his doctorate work. Since 1997, he has served as principal of Oak Hill School, which is devoted to the education of children with physical and mental disabilities.

Prescott said his work there is based on a simple philosophy. "I will do whatever it takes for a child to learn," he said. "My students are always first in every decision that I make as a principal."

Prescott said he knew he was destined to become an educator after teaching his first Sunday School class at the age of 14. Today, he still enjoys making a difference in the lives of his students.

"As I spend my days as an administrator in the classrooms, on the playground or standing in the hallway, I thank God for the opportunity to make a difference in the life of a child.

"Every morning, I greet every child as buses and cars are unloading students with smiling faces," Prescott said. "I believe I should be the first person that each of them see--to show them respect as a student. Also, I want each of them to feel safe that I am watching over them. I make it a habit to visit every class daily just to ask how my students are doing on that particular day."

Prescott also routinely passes out pencils or other rewards to students who do good work and behave. In addition, he created a "Principal's Café" where students are invited to come and read books with him in a comfortable setting.

A former Fulbright Scholarship Program participant, Prescott is a member of the Institute for the Development of Educational Activities (IDEA). He has twice won the IDEA Distinguished Educator Award and was named Special Education Administrator of the Year in 2002. Under Prescott's leadership, Oak Hill School has received $90,000 in grants and donations and was named a Reading Literacy Site.

During 2003, Alfa Insurance Co. and the Alabama Farmers Federation will honor one outstanding teacher from each of Alabama's eight state school board districts as well as two principals and two private school teachers. 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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