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March 01, 2011   Email to Friend 

Melissa Martin
(334) 612-5448
March 01, 2011

Cheryl Hall
MONTGOMERY, Ala. --  While most teachers decorate their classrooms to make their students feel welcome and 'at home,' Lacey's Spring third-grade teacher Cheryl Hall reaches out to her students in a slightly unorthodox way -- the U.S. Postal Service.

"Recalling that my own children always felt so special when they received mail addressed to them, I send each of my students a letter early in the summer to let them know how excited I am to have each of them in my class and to let them know I value them as individuals," said Hall. "I keep this up through the year, sending them holiday cards over breaks so they know I am always thinking about them and their education."

By exciting them about school even before the first bell of the school year has rang, Hall is able to establish a stronger rapport that culminates in an involved, eager group of young minds. Their willingness to learn and exchange ideas extends beyond the classroom where they've not only been taught the three R's, but also the importance of giving back to their communities.

Utilizing existing charity programs including Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF and the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Math-A-Thon®, along with canned food drives and other beneficial campaigns, Hall is able to pass her enthusiasm for helping others on to her students.

It's for her steadfast dedication to enriching the lives of others that Hall was named Alfa's Teacher of the Month for March. As March's honoree, she will receive $1,000 from Alfa Insurance. Her school, a division of Morgan County Schools, will receive a matching award from the Alabama Farmers Federation.

"If a teacher can help her students discover how they learn most effectively, to love learning and to turn that learning into positive change for society, she has done her job," said Hall.

Hall earned her bachelor's degree in elementary education from Athens State University, and her master's of education degree from Alabama A&M University. She also earned a place in "Who's Who Among American Teachers" and was awarded the Jenice Riley Memorial Scholarship for "Excellence in Social Science Education" by the Alabama Humanities Foundation.

During 2011, 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 Alfa Teacher of the Month in the Ag Links section of AlfaFarmers.org.

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