Trace Crossings Elementary teacher Minnette R. Wiggins has been named one of the Final Four finalists for Alabama’s 2015-2016 Teacher of the Year.
“My successes are when a child is excited about something he has learned, when she has an ‘ah-ha’ moment, when he achieves a goal, and when academics makes a difference to the individual life of a child," Wiggins said. "My students inspire me daily to be the best teacher I can be, and they deserve nothing less. I am so very proud to be a small part of the teaching world.”
The next step for the final four is an extensive interview with the state judging committee. The 2015-2016 Teacher of the Year will be announced at a ceremony hosted by the Alabama State Board of Education and the Alabama State Department of Education. The event will take place on Wednesday, May 13 at 6 p.m. at the RSA Plaza Terrace in Montgomery.
Finalists emerged from more than 130 educators across the state who submitted applications for the Alabama Teacher of the Year Program. Applicants submitted packets outlining education history, professional biographies, community involvement and philosophies of teaching.
Alabama’s Teacher of the Year spends the majority of the school year serving as a full-time ambassador 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.
Serving as a camp counselor at a church camp was all it took to solidify Minnette Wiggins’ decision to pursue a teaching degree. Having taught in both rural and suburban school systems, Wiggins does not believe there is a one-size-fits-all curriculum. She strives to create a 21st century learning environment for her first graders where instruction is personalized, project-based, and hands-on.
When Wiggins reflects back on her 30-plus year career, the veteran educator considers her greatest accomplishments those that are based on the personal growth and the academic growth of each student. The National Board Certified teacher treasures her students’ enthusiasm for learning and their unconditional trust in her to lead them toward achievement and growth. Parent Edie Schauble Pickett credits Wiggins with making school and learning exciting for her son, starting him “out on the right foot on his education journey.”