On Tuesday afternoon, representatives from the Alabama Education Association were on hand at Hanceville Elementary School to present Mrs. Michelle Pender, a first-grade teacher, a $200 check after winning the District Two 2021 Be A Champion and Read Decorating Contest. The decorating contest ran in conjunction with the student reading contest. The prize money can be used in her classroom or at the school.
Pender has competed in the contest for four years now and has always encouraged her students to compete in it. After winning the contest she was excited saying, ”I am excited and very grateful to have won this contest on behalf of Hanceville Elementary School. GO BULLDOGS!”
The decorating contest allowed educators across Alabama to decorate bulletin boards, walls, or doors to promote the Be A Champion and Read contest in their school.
Pender said she receives excellent support from her students’ parents and those from the community. For example, she told the media that she asked her parents for paper towels and now has bundles that will last her and her fellow teachers for several years. In addition, she leads up several projects at the elementary school, including the campus-wide recycling program.
As always Mrs. Pender continued to be a servant, after winning this contest, as she gave the $200 to the art department. With limited funding and over six hundred students she decided to give it to a teacher who needed it, ”Mrs. Dee Johnson does an excellent job teaching to over 600 students every week. She needs funding to purchase art class supplies. Books are enriched with illustrations to aid in the enjoyment and understanding of the words. Art is vital to literacy, especially to elementary students.”
AEA President Dr. Susan Williams Brown said, “AEA is dedicated to promoting a love of reading for all Alabama students, and our Be A Champion and Read Contest is a terrific way to motivate students to read. I congratulate Michelle Pender for her dedication developing a love of reading in her students and commend her for supporting her fellow teacher with the prize money.”
Mrs. Pender continues to rack up accomplishments at Hanceville Elementary School, as previously she won 1st Place in the Alabama PALS Clean Campus Program. In 2017, she was named the Environmental Conservation Education Teacher of the Year by the Alabama Association of Conservation Districts.