Godwin honored by Blue Bell

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 28, 2007

Former students of Greenville Middle School's W.S. Godwin shouldn't be surprised that the longtime teacher still occupies the same classroom he's had for the majority of his 40 years in public education.

And Godwin said there really should be no surprise in how you educate a child.

&#8220I teach a child individuallyŠit's a concept I've followed since I started teaching,” he said.

Godwin has been named a district finalist for Alabama Teacher of the Year, one of eight secondary teachers selected statewide. He was selected as GMS Teacher of the Year earlier this year, as well as Butler County Teacher of the Year for 2006-07.

Although he's won those awards before (once twice in a row), this will be the first time Godwin's up for state honors.

&#8220What an honor,” he said. &#8220Out of the many great educators in our state it's certainly an honor to be selected.”

On Friday, representatives from Blue Bell Creameries were at Greenville Middle School delivering over 800 cups of ice cream to students during lunch on behalf of Godwin.

&#8220At Blue Bell, we believe there is no finer work you can do in this world than be a teacher,” said Paul Kruse, president of Blue Bell, in a released statement. &#8220The finalists for Alabama Teacher of the Year are among the most outstanding members of their profession. We are very pleased to have the opportunity to honor Mr. Godwin for his wonderful work. We wanted to recognize, not only Mr. Godwin, but the entire student body and staff at Greenville Middle School. Part of our purpose is to remind all the students how fortunate they are to have Mr. Godwin and their other dedicated teachers with them every day.”

Godwin also received a special treat: A Styrofoam cooler full of his favorite ice creams.

&#8220Wow!” He exclaimed, thanking Blue Bell representative Kenny Hall for coming to the school.

The winner of the statewide Teacher of the Year competition will be announced on May 9.

Alabama's Teacher of the Year spends the majority of the school year being the spokesperson and representative for education and the teaching profession and presenting workshops. He or she is also a candidate for National Teacher of the Year.

&#8220Year after year, the best and brightest teachers are selected for this prestigious designation. It is never an easy task for the judges to narrow down the finalists from the countless quality teachers who are making such profound impacts on the lives of our children in Alabama schools,” said State Superintendent of Education Joe Morton.

Godwin said he plans on teaching another six year before retiring.

But maybe not permanently. Godwin - also famous in Greenville for the nine children he's fathered with wife Rebecca - has retired before from the public school system.