Hill named Alabama Teacher of the Year finalist

Deborah Hill accompanies her students on a 1-mile run during recess.

Deborah Hill accompanies her students on a 1-mile run during recess.

Locust Fork Elementary teacher Deborah Hill has been selected as one of the “Sweet 16” for Alabama Teacher of the Year. She will find out on May 14 during a ceremony in Montgomery if she will receive the ultimate honor.

“I’m overwhelmed,” Hill says. “It’s very humbling. I’m honored, but so many more teachers are more qualified than me. It takes a group, not just an individual, to help students.”

As a fifth-grade math teacher, Hill says the other fifthgrade teachers should be honored as well.

“All of the teachers helped the students, not just me, and not just the fifth-grade teachers, but all the teachers these students have had before. It’s a group effort, along with the students, who are also so great.”

Hill’s journey to the “Sweet 16” began when a committee of her peers at Locust Fork chose her as the Locust Fork Elementary Teacher of the Year. From there, Hill wrote a philosophy paper which was sent to the county. Afterward, she was named Elementary Teacher of the Year for Blount County. The system then submitted the paper to the district, and she was named the District 6 Teacher of the Year.

Now, she will be considered for the Alabama Teacher of the Year among eight other elementary teachers. The “Sweet 16” includes the eight finalists for high school along with the eight finalists for elementary.

With the distinction of Blount County Elementary Teacher of the Year, Hill was awarded a $750 grant, courtesy of the Blount County Education Foundation. She used this money to purchase an iPad for her students to use in the classroom.

If she is named Alabama Teacher of the Year, she will get the chance to travel across the state for a year giving seminars at different schools.