Chambers County secondary and elementary Teachers of the Year along with those who were nominated from their respective schools were recognized at last Wednesday’s meeting of the Chambers County Board of Education.
Seth Stehouwer, an architecture and construction teacher at the Chambers County Career Technical Center (CTC), and LaFayette Lanier Elementary third grade teacher Frederika Brown were announced as the winners.
A graduate of Auburn University, Stehouwer has been at the CTC for the past five years. He ascribes to the Robert Greenleaf philosophy of being a servant-first leader.
“In seeing myself as a servant to my students and seeing my responsibility to them as being one of building their capacity to serve and supporting their personal and intellectual growth and devel- opment,” says Stehouwer, “I am able to feel more whole and fulfilled as well. My students and I are in this together, and I find great reward in seeing them overcome challenges, reach their greatest potential and reach their dreams.”
CTC Director Ken Sealy says that Stehouwer is changing lives. “He is touching the lives of many students in a positive manner,” he writes. “It is an honor to recom- mend him for Chambers County Teacher of the Year.”
Fredericka Brown has a B.S. degree in elementary education from Alabama State University and an M.S. degree from Troy University. She has eight years of experience in the teaching profession and currently teaches third grade level math, science, social studies and writing at LaFayette Lanier Elementary School in Valley.
“Teaching is not just a job or a career,” Brown says. “It is a calling one receives from the Lord. In life, people are remembered for two things: the problems they created or the ones they helped solve. My goal as an edu- cator is to positively impact the lives of the children I teach.”
She compares teaching children to building the foundation of a house. “If one process is done incorrectly, it will weaken the entire foundation,” she says. “I strive for perfection and always keep in mind that the students I teach are my priority. I am constantly assessing my own teaching practices and looking for ways to improve.”
Brown’s principal, Vic- toria Leak, raves about her skill in the classroom. “Throughout my 29 years in education, I have not observed a more natural and qualified teacher than Fredericka Brown,” she says. “As a professional educator, she is the type of teacher that we all should be holding before the public as an ideal person for preparing children for their futures. She is truly an asset for the profession.”
Stehouwer and Brown were present at Wednesday’s monthly board meeting along with the Teachers of the Year from the other schools in the Chambers County system. They include Andi Phillips, Bob Harding-Shawmut Elementary School; Kimberly Lanier-Crayton, Eastside Ele- mentary (LaFayette); Amy Bryant, Fairfax Elementary; Jerri Ison, Five Points Elementary; Michelle Lane, Huguley Elementary; Wendy Moncrief, J.P. Powell Middle School (LaFayette); Christin Doyal, W.F. Burns Middle School (Valley); Don Turner, LaFayette High; and Dana Williford, Valley High.
Superintendent Dr. Kelli Tucker congratu- lated each Teacher of the Year winner. “It’s an honor being selected,” she said. “I have seen you in the classroom and have had your fellow teachers and your principals tell me how dynamic and passionate you are about education,” she said. “Thank you for what you mean to our system and to education.”