By Keysha Drexel
A fourth-grade teacher at Cherokee Bend Elementary School in Mountain Brook has been named the Alabama Teacher of the Year.
State School Superintendent Tommy Bice announced Ann Marie Corgill as the winner of the Teacher of the Year title on May 14 at a ceremony in Montgomery.
Corgill was one of three Over the Mountain teachers named to the state Department of Education’s “Sweet 16” pool of candidates for the Alabama Teacher of the Year award.
Hoover City Schools’ Ellen Anson of Rocky Ridge Elementary and Craig Thompson of Spain Park High School were among the 16 finalists selected in April from more than 150 elementary and secondary school candidates across the state.
Corgill and Anson advanced to the “final four” candidates in the race for the Alabama Teacher of the Year.
As the 2014-2015 teacher of the year, Corgill will be a spokesperson for education and teaching professionals in the state and will also present workshops to education groups.
Corgill will travel the state promoting education in a 2014 Chevrolet Traverse. She received a year’s use of the new car from Alfa Insurance and the Alabama Farmers Federation.
She will be recognized by the president at a reception at the White House and have a chance to spend one week at Space Camp at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville.
Corgill is now in the running for the National Teacher of the Year title and will attend the National Teacher of the Year Program Conference with other state winners.
Corgill has been a teacher for 20 years and has taught at Cherokee Bend Elementary since 2012. Before that, she was a national consultant for Development Studies Center and taught at Hewitt-Trussville Middle School and at Riverchase Elementary School in Hoover. She was also a teacher at the Manhattan New School in New York City.
Her first job after receiving a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Alabama in 1994 was at Brookwood Forest Elementary School in Mountain Brook.
Corgill also has a master’s degree in early childhood and elementary education from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
She is a National Board Certified Teacher and the 2007 recipient of the Donald H. Graves Writing Award.
Corgill is also an author and is currently working on her second book, which will be about quality instruction. Her first book was “Of Primary Importance: What’s Essential in Teaching Young Writers.”
Corgill said she believes professional development is a key to improving schools.
“We as teachers need the same things our students need–ongoing support, focused and specific studies, a ‘less is more’ philosophy, and multiple opportunities to practice what we’ve learned,” she wrote in her author’s biography on the Stenhouse Publishers website.
Corgill said the process of writing her first book was both “painful and dreadful” and “the most amazing way to learn about my students and my teaching.”
“I’ve never run a marathon, but I would suspect finishing the book feels a lot like crossing the finish line,” she said.