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Andy, Opp rank among best places in state to teach

The school systems in Andalusia and Opp are ranked in the top 25 places to teach in Alabama.

Andalusia City Schools was ranked No. 11 in the list by ranking organization Niche.

The organization used data from the U.S. Department of Education, as well as reviews from parents and students to make the determination.

The criteria also included average educator salaries and reported to the department of education by the local school systems; administration; health and safety; resources and facilities; student-teacher ratio; rate of teacher absenteeism; and teachers in the first or second year.

“I’ve been here going on 28 years, I’ve always known that Andalusia was a special place,” Superintendent Ted Watson said. “It’s nice to be given credit for something that you’ve known a long, long time. Parents and students are proud to call Andalusia home.”

ACS has a student-teacher ratio of 17:1 and an average teacher salary of $51,277.

Opp City Schools is ranked No. 25 on the list.

They have a student-teacher ratio of 17:1 and the average teacher salary is $49,025.

“It’s always nice to have our system recognized,” OCS superintendent Michael Smithart said. “We feel we have one of the best school districts in the state and that’s a testament to the hard work and dedication of our staff. I believe this same organization ranked out teachers 12th best in the state. I disagree. I know we have the best. As far as being one of the best systems to work for, I believe it’s true. I’ve been here 21 years and I can’t think of a better district to work. It starts with our board employing quality educators and our administrators empowering them to do their jobs. We create a family atmosphere and it feeds to our students and community.”

Covington County Schools is ranked No. 54 on the list. Student-teacher ratio is 16:1 and the average teacher salary is $48,005.