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Durrett honored as ‘Teacher of the Year’ at Columbia

MADISON – Alyson Durrett is “Teacher of the Year” at Columbia Elementary School.

She has taught in Madison City Schools for 16 years — first, as an aide at Horizon Elementary School and then as third-grade teacher at Heritage Elementary School. At Columbia since its opening in 2004, Durrett has taught kindergarten and third and fourth grades.

In 1988, her father’s job at Teledyne Brown Engineering brought her family to Madison. Durrett is a 1997 graduate of Bob Jones High School. After attending Calhoun Community College, Durrett earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Athens State University in 2003.s P

At Columbia, Durrett sponsors Elementary Student to Student Ambassadors or Es2s. She serves with Response to Intervention committee, Lighthouse Team for Leader in Me, aTA teacher liaison and as Action Team Leader for Family Connections.

Durrett served on the Camp Read S’More committee to plan a family night of reading. “We gave away free books, book worms (gummy worms) and shared S’Mores. We had guest readers. The lunchroom was set up to sit around the ‘campfire’ and read with their family,” she said.

For several years, Durrett worked as a special education aide with Ellen Thompson’s third-graders at Horizon. “I loved being in her class as much as the students did. Her students knew they were loved and safe in her classroom.”

“I remember my third-grade teacher, Jan Thompson, at Crestline Elementary School in Hartselle. She’s the reason I couldn’t put a book down as I was growing up. She instilled a love for reading, and it has continued throughout my life,” Durrett said.

Thompson “is one reason I wanted to be a third-grade teacher. I’ll always remember her smile and kind words,” Durrett said.

Durrett’s husband Clay works as Technology Coordinator at Westminster Christian Academy. Their sons are sixth-grader Bryson and third-grader Alex, who attend Madison City Schools. C.J., who is four, attends pre-kindergarten.

“During my spare time, I enjoy spending time with family and reading Karen Kingsbury books,” she said. “My favorite food is Thanksgiving food. I love turkey and dressing, green beans, rolls and pecan pie. I could eat it all year.”

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