Lisa Hargett vividly remembers when her dream of becoming a nurse was swiftly replaced by a new passion – to inspire young minds. When Hargett got a chance to observe students in an early-childhood-development undergraduate class, she realized the classroom was where she belonged.
“I fell in love with teaching,” Hargett said, smiling warmly at the thought of her decision.
It was Hargett’s passion for teaching and enthusiasm for education that helped earn her recognition as ALFA’s Teacher of the Month in March. Hargett, a National Board Certified teacher who teaches fourth-graders at Hayden Elementary School, received $1000 from ALFA Insurance and matching award for her school from Alabama Farmers Federation.
After 15 years’ teaching in Hayden schools, Hargett is every bit as passionate about her job as she was the day she first walked into the classroom. “She lives and breathes teaching, constantly thinking up ways to stretch her students and inspire them to learn,” says Dr. Shelley Vail-Smith, principal of Hayden Elementary.
The classroom is a solid part of her life and her identity. “I love it when I see the light in somebody’s eyes when they’ve got something. Seeing people’s attitudes change, seeing their confidence grow, seeing them being empowered and inspired – these are the essentials of teaching,” says Hargett.
During 2010, the Alabama Farmers Federation and ALFA Insurance will honor outstanding teachers from each of Alabama’s eight state school board districts as well as two principals and two private-school teachers. Since 1998, the ALFA Teacher of the Month program has awarded $288,000 to deserving teachers and their schools. The state Department of Education coordinates the application process.