WS Harlan teacher tapped for state board

Published 1:57 am Saturday, April 15, 2017

WS Harlan’s Brandi Evans received word recently that she was named to the Alabama Department of Education Superintendent’s Teacher Cabinet.

Brandi Evans

“The purpose of this group is to provide a direct avenue of communication with the state superintendent to discuss important issues regarding education,” said State Superintendent Michael Sentence.

Evans teaches fourth grade Alabama history and sixth grade English at the elementary school in the south end of the county.

Evans is a native of Covington County and a graduate of Straughn High School.

She earned her associate of arts degree from Alabama Southern.

She went on to graduate magna cum laude from Troy University with a bachelor’s degree in English Language Arts Education and graduated summa cum laude from Troy University with a master’s degree in English Language Arts Education.

She is certified in the state of Alabama to teach English Language Arts for grades 6-12 and general social science for grades 4-8.

Earlier this year, the Andalusia Area Chamber of Commerce honored her. as the elementary teacher of the year at its January banquet.

“I know that sometimes classroom teachers feel out of the loop when it comes to decisions that affect them and their students, so this cabinet seems a great opportunity to be heard at the state level,” Evans said. “I’ve taught with elementary and high school teachers and am familiar with the issues faced by both. I am honored to be chosen and look forward to representing my fellow educators.”

Evans is respected by her teaching peers.

“Brandi was one and is one of the most professional, dedicated teachers I have ever had the privilege of knowing and working with inside or outside of the classroom,” colleague Patricia Land Peoples wrote about her for the teacher of the year nomination. “She sees teachable moments and uses them to improve the lives of her students and to develop character. She feels strongly about students respecting others, respecting their country, and developing their full potential. She dedicates her life to her craft. She spends weekends researching material and honing lessons that will capture attention and enhance the learning experiences. She is the essence of making school a magical place.”

WSH Harlan Elementary School Principal Joy Colvin said she has known Evans for the past 13 years – first as a colleague and now as her principal.

“Ms. Evans’s educational background as a teacher, coach, mentor and leader in our schools, as well as her wealth of knowledge concerning the legal aspects of education make her a tremendous asset to our school’s leadership team and many advisory committees for both our school and county school system,” she said. “(Her) thorough understanding and use of data-based decision-making and her commitment to ongoing positive messages of improvement with the staff and community have led to an increase in our school’s academic performance as well as a renewed passion for learning among teachers in our school.”

Colvin said that Evans’s love for her students and her job is evident every day through her actions as a classroom teacher and teacher leader.

“She develops a rapport of trust and respect with her students no matter what grade level she teachers,” Colvin said. “She is knowledgeable on the needs of her special services students as well as the gifted students in her classroom, and she advocates for both. She is fair, compassionate, and understanding of her students while expecting the very best from them at all times. I could go on and on about the qualities that Ms. Evans possesses that make her the amazing teacher that she is. She is truly an inspiration to the students and teachers alike.”

Colvin said she highly recommended Evans to serve on the cabinet.