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December 02, 2010   Email to Friend 

Melissa Martin
(334) 612-5448
December 02, 2010

Kate Kimball
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- A favored chestnut among educational critics, "those who can't do, teach" remains a common misunderstanding among career-seekers. To combat this criticism, one fifth-grade teacher is proving the opposite -- that those who can, teach . . . and produce lifelong learners and community activists along the way.

Kate Kimball, fifth-grade teacher at Orange Beach Elementary, knows that fostering a love for learning is critical to promoting a passion for knowledge. While her students aren't of the age to think about what colleges they should attend or how much to invest in a Roth IRA, she knows that there aren't age requirements on learning that the things in life that really matter are true measures of success.

"While it is vital to teach academic skills to my students, what is equally important is teaching them to live and be productive members of society," explains Kimball.

Kimball's personal outreach, enthusiasm for education and her ability to encourage Alabama's youth to give back helped her earn her place as December's Teacher of the Month. As December's honoree, Kimball will receive $1,000 from Alfa Insurance. Her school, a division of Baldwin County Public Schools, will receive a matching award from the Alabama Farmers Federation.

"My aspirations as I enter my classroom every day . . . are best described in the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson: 'To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; . . . to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you lived. This is to have succeeded.'"

A graduate of the University of West Florida, Kimball received her bachelor's degree in elementary education in 2004 and is pursuing her master's degree in educational leadership through Arkansas State University.

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

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