Award finalist sets great example here

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 14, 2012

Barbara Peek exemplifies what’s right with education in Alabama.

The Andalusia Elementary School educator is a “sweet 16” finalist for the state’s teacher of the year award. In college, she was told by a professor that she was “wasting her intelligence” with a decision to teach elementary school students.

Lately, she has “wasted” her smarts teaching science to fourth and fifth graders at AES, and is a former reading teacher. In addition to teaching, she is responsible for AES’s recycling team, and its Green Team, a group of 16 fifth graders charged with the maintenance and continued growth of the school’s outdoor classroom.

We often are invited to the school to photograph creative projects on which her students are working, and we often bump into her at extra-curricular activities, not just to see one of her own children, but to support her students, as well.

A final four will be selected for the teacher of the year award this month and the teacher of year will be named at “Stars in Education,” a live broadcast show, hosted by the Alabama Department of Education and Alabama Public Television on Wed., May 9, at 7 p.m.

Mrs. Peek has privately said she can’t win the award because it would take her away from her students too much.

Obviously, this smart woman has her priorities straight. Our local students are fortunate to have her as a teacher. She is a shining example of all that is good in our education system.