ALFA HONORS PELL CITY TEACHER
PELL CITY, Ala.-- A Pell City sixth-grade teacher, Donna J. Hyche, has been named Alfa's Teacher of the Month for October. As this month's winner, Mrs. Hyche will receive $1,000 from Alfa Insurance, and her school, Duran Junior High School South, will receive a matching cash award from the Alabama Farmers Federation.
|Donna J. Hyche|
A 1982 graduate of Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn., Mrs. Hyche began her teaching career at Jefferson Christian Academy in Birmingham. She has taught sixth-grade advanced math and reading at Duran Junior High School South since 2001, and in 2003, she earned a master's degree in elementary education from the University of Alabama.
Mrs. Hyche said she strives to make the students in her classroom feel valued as individuals. Once she develops a rapport with the students, she allows them to participate in writing lesson plans and developing math projects that relate to real life.
"Learning means more when my students believe that it will help them, not just in the present, but later in life as well," she said. "Each year, I purpose in my heart to help all of my students who come from different kinds of homes and backgrounds to overcome any obstacles and to push themselves to reach their greatest potential."
In addition to teaching sixth-grade, Mrs. Hyche works as a tutor at the Alabama Sheriffs' Boys' Ranch, and she is a part-time GED instructor at Jefferson State Community College.
In the classroom, Mrs. Hyche uses hands-on activities to inspire students. One of her most popular projects is the "Million-Dollar Math Project," in which students pretend to be consumers with $1 million to spend.
"They must first learn about banking, investments and financing as they purchase their first home," said Mrs. Hyche. "As the project continues, my students purchase other items such as vehicles, appliances and furniture. Learning is extended by investing portions of their money as well as giving to charities."
Through projects like the "Million-Dollar Math Project," Mrs. Hyche hopes to encourage students to stay in school and lower Pell City's 25 percent dropout rate. She reminds this year's sixth-graders that they are the class of 2010, and she routinely rewards student achievement and holds progress meetings with parents and grandparents.
Each year, the Alfa Teacher of the Month program honors 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 online by clicking on "Alfa Teacher of the Month" in the Ag Links section of www.alfafarmers.org.