Hoover 2013 Teacher of the Year Anson
Ellen Anson, Elementary Teacher of the Year
On May 1, Hoover teacher Ellen Anson was named a final-four candidate for Alabama Teacher of the Year.
Anson has been teaching for 39 years and received her education from the University of West Florida and A&M University. She currently teaches in Rocky Ridge Elementary School’s multi-handicapped, self-contained classroom.
Before she even stepped into her first class, Anson knew she wanted to spend her career teaching special needs children to help others see beyond their mental and physical limitations, a release from the Alabama State Department of Education reads. Each child, Anson believes, is capable of some level of communicating, whether it is a look in their eyes, the intonation of vocalizations, or a simple gesture. It is her job to help them be heard.
“I have learned that while I am thrilled with major accomplishments, it is the tiny steps of progress that my students make that keep me enthusiastic,” Anson said in the release. “It is their smiles when they are understood and their excitement when they accomplish a task that keep me celebrating and dedicated to teaching them day after day, year after year.”
Anson uses assistive technology to help her students become more active participants in the school community, which includes creating virtual field trips and producing programs on mobile devices to teach a broad range of concepts.
“I am blown away by her ingenuity and resourcefulness,” said Jennifer Helenius, Anson’s colleague.
Outside of the classroom, Anson is involved with the Special Olympics, the Board of the Evening Star Quilters and various programs at her church, Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church in Hoover.
The next step for the final four is an extensive interview with the state judging committee. The 2014-2015 Alabama Teacher of the Year will be revealed at a ceremony hosted by the Alabama State Board of Education and the Alabama State Department of Education at 6:30 p.m. on May 14, at the RSA Plaza Terrace in Montgomery.
The other three finalists are Ann Marie Corgill of Cherokee Bend Elementary School in Mountain Brook, Christopher D. Payne of Dothan High School, and Carrie Jones of Hewitt Trussville High School.
Alabama’s Teacher of the Year spends the majority of the school year serving as the spokesperson for education and the teaching profession as well as presenting workshops to various groups. Additionally, Alabama’s representative is a candidate for the National Teacher of the Year Award.