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February 26, 2010   Email to Friend 

Melissa Martin
(334) 613-5448
February 26, 2010

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Though some would classify "motivational speaker," "interior decorator" and "teacher" as separate career choices, Lisa Hargett combines these three professions into her current role at Hayden Elementary School.

So how does Hargett make both her presence and her classroom motivational and educational tools?

"The room is an ever-changing bulletin board of student achievements and accomplishments. Every surface is covered with something that reinforces her subject matter," described Cindy Seaver, parent of one of Hargett's former students. "Mrs. Hargett is not just a teacher by profession; she is a teacher by nature."

Her ability to encourage students' interests in learning is an accomplishment in itself, but her unwavering enthusiasm for education at all levels helped earn her recognition as Alfa's Teacher of the Month. As March's honoree, Hargett will receive $1,000 from Alfa Insurance. Her school, a part of the Blount County School System, will receive a matching award from the Alabama Farmers Federation.

Often found spending hours at workshops hoping to "gain even a tidbit of information" that will help her 'hone' her teaching skills in a more effective way, Hargett strives to gain innovative ways to capture her students' attention and pass on to them her "thirst for knowledge."

"The most rewarding part of my career is to work with a student one-on-one and witness the moment that he or she finally grasps the essence of a new idea. Sharing that moment --however brief -- always boosts my enthusiasm and continues to provide the motivation for the necessary hours of preparation," explained Hargett. "Whether it involves staying after school to tutor struggling students or writing grants to procure additional materials and tools to improve her teaching, Lisa always seems to give more of herself than anyone requires or expects," said Hayden Elementary Principal Shelley Vail-Smith.

During 2010, Alfa Insurance and the Alabama Farmers Federation will honor one outstanding teacher from each of Alabama's eight state board districts, two principals and two private school teachers. Application information is available under Alfa Teacher of the Month in the Ag Links section of AlfaFarmers.org.

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