BALDWIN COUNTY PRINCIPAL LEADS BY EXAMPLE
MONTGOMERY, Ala. Theresa J. Bryant's ability to lead by example and equip her students and teachers for success earned the Baldwin County principals recognition this month as Alfa's Teacher of the Month for June. As this month's winner, Bryant will receive $1,000 from Alfa Insurance, and her school, Robertsdale High School, will receive a matching award from the Alabama Farmers Federation.
A graduate of Mobile College with master's and education specialist degrees from the University of South Alabama, Bryant began her teaching career in 1981. She taught English, history, government, economics and Spanish before leaving the classroom to serve as an administrator. Bryant has been principal at Robertsdale since 1999 and currently is working on her doctorate at the University of West Florida.
Although it's been 10 years since she had a class of her own, Bryant still considers herself a teacher. "(As administrators), we influence teachers and students on a daily basis," she said. "We teach teachers how to manage classes, and we assist students in their daily school life and school activities. As educators, we should be seeking new ways of doing old things."
Bryant often models teaching strategies for younger teachers by actually stepping back into the classroom to teach English, Spanish and social studies classes. She equips her teachers for success by providing them a minimum of 16 hours of professional development training each school year. In addition, Bryant has purchased televisions, VCRs and other equipment for every classroom in the school.
Bryant seeks support for her school from private sources. She is an experienced and successful grant writer, and she has shared her leadership ideas with other educators at state and national conferences. At her own school, she works with the faculty and staff to develop new educational programs. For example, Robertsdale has established a Justice Academy for students interested in public service careers and an Algebra for Mastery program to help students learn and pass algebra as freshmen in high school.
During 2005, Alfa Insurance and Alabama Farmers Federation 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 www.alfaf