Recognizing their contributions in the classroom, the Mississippi Power Foundation has honored six teachers with the prestigious Alan R. Barton Excellence in Teaching Award.
Established in 1990, the award was named for the late Alan R. Barton, president of Mississippi Power from 1980 to 1989. It celebrates Barton’s dedication and contributions to education and is designed to recognize and honor excellence in the classroom.
Award recipients are:
- Jeremy Bell – algebra I and geometry – St. Martin High School
- Tonda Farrior – reading – Stringer Attendance Center
- Lori Fisher – gifted – Pass Christian Elementary and Middle schools
- Constance Roth – science and math – Bay Waveland Middle School
- Sara Waller – culinary arts – Wayne County Career & Technical Education Center
- Angie White – language arts – George Washington Carver Middle School
“South Mississippi has some of the most dedicated and hardworking teachers in the nation, and we’re honored to recognize these amazing educators who epitomize educational excellence,” said Mississippi Power CEO Ed Holland. “Teachers shoulder a very important responsibility by helping our children maximize their potential every day. Because of them, students strive for success making our communities better places to live and learn.”
Though the recipients come from across the company’s service area and teach different courses, one thing they have in common is their sincere desire to engage students in the learning process. How they go about making their classes inviting and keeping students motivated are as interesting as they are varied.
Bell’s patience and compassion for his at-risk students, his fresh approach to problem solving, and dedication to helping students understand algebra I and geometry is producing amazing test scores with struggling students.
Farrior has created a spark among both students and staff with her book club, Get Excited About Reading. Since her arrival, there has been a significant increase in students’ test scores on the state’s standardized testing and has helped earn the school an “A” rating.
Fisher, who addresses each student’s unique learning style, is considered inspiring, creative, challenging, bold and even brilliant by her classes. Her Living History Tour of Live Oak Cemetery has her students researching history, writing speeches and serving as tour guides.
Roth incorporates language arts into her science and math lessons. Her yearlong science program has students maintaining a square foot garden, where they use math skills. Following the harvest, students are able to take home some of the produce and share it with their families.
Waller teaches teamwork, accountability and responsibility along with culinary arts skills. She constantly employs new teaching and classroom management strategies that keep her students interested and eager to learn.
White shook things up on the first day of class by telling her students to leave their textbooks at home. Her innovative teaching style uses songs and advertising to teach everything from sentence and text structure to tools of persuasion and an author’s purpose.
Each winner receives cash awards, one for their personal use as well as awards earmarked for use in the classroom and staff development.