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May 13, 2004   Email to Friend 

Debra Davis
(334) 613-4686
May 13, 2004

Alabama's Teacher of the Year Cynda Fickert, second from left, accepts the car keys from Alfa's Executive Vice President of Operations Lee Ellis during a Thursday morning ceremony. Alfa provides the Teacher of the Year with the use of a new car during her tenure as the state's top teacher. From left are Interim State Superintendent of Education Dr. Joe Morton, Fickert, Ellis, Alfa's Executive Vice President of Marketing Wayne Hawkins and Alabama Farmers Federation Administrator J. Paul Till.
MONTGOMERY, Ala., -- Alabama's 2004-2005 Teacher of the Year, Cynda Fickert, a teacher at Auburn Junior High School, received a year's use of a new car courtesy of Alfa Insurance Co. and the Alabama Farmers Federation during a ceremony at the Alfa home office in Montgomery Thursday. Alfa Executive Vice President of Operations Lee Ellis presented Ms. Fickert the keys to a 2004 Chevrolet Impala as part of her award for being named the state's top teacher.

Interim State Superintendent of Education Dr. Joe Morton made the announcement of Alabama's Teacher of the Year during a reception Wednesday evening that honored 16 Teacher of the Year district finalists.

A teacher for 12 years, Fickert teaches eighth grade pre-algebra. Her professional credentials include a master's of education degree from Columbus State University in Georgia and a bachelor's of science degree from Berry College in Georgia.

"We are proud to be a part of this program which recognizes great teachers in our state," Ellis said. "Alfa is glad to supply an automobile and the insurance for the next year to Ms. Fickert. For students to achieve, schools must provide a setting that inspires learning and teachers with the desire and skills to help their students develop. We are pleased to help reward our state's Teacher of the Year for the great job she does in nurturing the minds of her students."

Dr. Morton said presenting the Teacher of the Year with a car shows that Alfa values teachers and the job they do.

"Alfa recognizes what teachers do for us on a daily basis and the trend they set for this state for the future," Morton said. "Alfa's sponsorship, commitment and partnership in this program is one that we greatly value."

This is the eighth year that Alfa has presented a car to the state Teacher of the Year. During the presentation, Ellis announced the continuation of the Alfa Teacher of the Month program, a separate program from the Teacher of the Year, with the teacher receiving $1,000 and his or her school receiving $1,000. Since the program began, Alfa and the Alabama Farmers Federation have given $168,000 in cash awards to deserving teachers, principals and schools as part of the Teacher of the Month program.

Fickert will spend the 2004-05 school year as an ambassador for public education and the teaching profession and automatically becomes the state's candidate for National Teacher of the Year.

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