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September 19, 2011   Email to Friend 

Melissa Martin
(334) 612-5448
September 19, 2011

Amanda Cody
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- French author and rationalist Voltaire argued that common sense is not so common. A few hundred years and a different continent later, educator Amanda Cody is doing all she can to change that, replacing theory with logical decision-making.

These changes, along with Cody's ability to reach students on any level, helped her earn the designation as the second of two private school teachers honored this year in the Alfa Teacher of the Month program. As September's honoree, she will receive $1,000 from Alfa Insurance. Her school will receive a matching award from the Alabama Farmers Federation.

"By working to ensure that they understand what they are trying to learn and why they are trying to master it, I have been able to create a smooth and efficient classroom atmosphere in which students can build the foundation for a lifelong love of learning," said Cody, eighth grade language arts, social studies and religion teacher at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic School in Birmingham.

While Cody's methods are appreciated by her students who feel they have a voice that matters, they're also admired by her colleagues -- current and former -- who often look to her example to better their own classrooms.

"She was an enthusiastic and eager mentor during my first two years of teaching, and she gave me a good example of what great teaching can look like," said Sarah Runger, former teacher at Our Lady of Fatima. "The classroom management that she has is superb, and it creates an environment conducive to learning."

A two-time graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Cody earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Social Science Education in 2001, and a Master of Arts in education in 2007. She sponsors Our Lady of Fatima's National Junior Beta Club Chapter, is on the liturgy committee and serves on the Accreditation Steering Committee for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

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.

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