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Expectations rated important during Annie Crutcher’s career

Annie Crutcher was honored with a retirement celebration at Rainbow Elementary School on May 11. (CONTRIBUTED)
Annie Crutcher was honored with a retirement celebration at Rainbow Elementary School on May 11. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Recently retired, Annie Crutcher will miss her “Rainbow family” and always treasure those friendships and camaraderie.

“I’ve been so blessed by God to have spent 25 years doing exactly what I was born to do — teach. Teaching was never a job to me; teaching is and forever will be a major part of my heart and soul,” Crutcher said.

With the exception of this year’s class, former students know her as ‘Ms. Williams,’ not as ‘Mrs. Crutcher.’ She and husband James Crutcher married in 2014. He works as a boiler mechanic for Yang Enterprises at Marshall Space Flight Center.

“I’m grateful to my husband for supporting my retirement,” Annie Crutcher said. “I’ll always be grateful to Dr. Dee Fowler for hiring me 25 years ago when he was principal of West Madison elementary. Finally, I want all my students know that I loved, cared and prayed for them.”

Crutcher taught first grade for 10 years, second grade for five years and third grade for 9.5 years. She has served as president and other officer positions with Madison City Education Association.

Crutcher earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and a master’s degree from Lesley University in Cambridge, Mass.

She will always remember Doris McShann, her sixth-grade social studies teacher at East Limestone High School. When Crutcher made her first ‘A’ on a test (besides spelling), McShann handed the test paper back “and stated very matter-of-factly, ‘I knew you could do it.'”

“I didn’t know she had higher expectations of me. Her words were a catalyst for me to never again accept anything less than an ‘A,'” Crutcher said.

Crutcher most enjoyed “watching students learn and grow under my tutorage. I loved giving and receiving hugs to and from my students daily.”

For future teachers, she recommends “to put God and family first, love students, treat them fairly and always have high expectations.”

In retirement, she will be a full-time wife and homemaker, continue tutoring and find a job that blends teaching and technology.

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