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May 11, 2005   Email to Friend 

Debra Davis
(334) 613-4686
May 11, 2005

Alfa Farmers President Jerry Newby, second from left, presents the keys to a new car to 2005-2006 Teacher of the Year Margaret Petty of Madison. Alfa Insurance and the Alabama Farmers Federation gave the state's top teacher one year's use of the car while she travels the state as an ambassador for education. Attending the presentation were, from left, Federation Executive Director Mike Kilgore, Newby, Petty, State Superintendent of Education Dr. Joseph B. Morton and Alfa Insurance Executive Vice President of Operations Lee Ellis.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Alabama's 2005-2006 Teacher of the Year, Margaret Petty, a teacher at Rainbow Elementary School in Madison County, 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 today. Alfa President Jerry Newby presented Petty the keys to a 2005 Chevrolet Impala as part of her award for being named the state's top teacher.

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

A National Board Certified Teacher, Ms. Petty teaches special education at Rainbow Elementary School in the Madison City School System. She said she can't ever recall wanting to be anything other than a teacher, adding "it is one profession that is truly motivated by a passionate desire to share oneself with others."

Newby praised the work of Petty and all Alabama teachers.

"Alabama is blessed to have some of the best teachers in the world," Newby said. "And as Alabama's new Teacher of the Year, Ms. Petty now serves as a mentor to other teachers in our state. We are pleased to present her this car to use for the next year as she travels throughout Alabama sharing her ideas and teaching philosophy. Alfa and the Alabama Farmers Federation recognize the wonderful job that she and all our teachers do." Dr. Morton said presenting the Teacher of the Year with a car shows that Alfa values teachers and the job they do.

"I would like to thank Alfa for its generous contributions and continuing commitment to quality education," Morton said. "Further, the use of an automobile is an asset to the Alabama Teacher of the Year Program and teachers of the year and enables the teacher to represent our state in a most professional manner."

This is the ninth year that Alfa has presented a car to the state Teacher of the Year. During the presentation, Newby 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 provided $192,000 in cash awards to deserving teachers, principals and schools as part of the Teacher of the Month program.

Petty will spend the 2005-06 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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