Wilhelm reigns as Liberty’s top teacher
MADISON – Billie Wilhelm, who has compiled 25 years in the field of education, is 2018 “Teacher of the Year” at Liberty Middle School.
Wilhelm’s teaching career started in Wilcox County, where she taught seventh- and eighth-grade math and algebra 1. “After three years, my husband and I moved to North Alabama. I taught seventh-grade math for two years for Sheffield Junior High,” she said.
However, Wlhelm then considered a career change. “I left that job, only to find myself teaching as a contractor for the State of Alabama Department of Transportation. I realized that I missed teaching in a traditional classroom and took a job teaching seventh-grade math at Liberty,” she said.
“I love teaching middle school and plan to finish out my career here at Liberty,” Wilhelm said.
As Seventh-Grade Math Team coach, Wilhelm led Alabama’s MathCounts team this year in national competition in Washington, D.C. Alabama’s team, which included two Madison students, placed 16th in the nation.
She also mentors new teachers. “I love helping teachers find their place at Liberty,” Wilhelm said.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in math education at the University of South Alabama in Mobile. She and husband Ken both are natives of Greenville. They moved to North Alabama for his job in engineering and live in Elkmont.
In her teaching philosophy, Wilhelm is not a strict disciplinarian. “But I do have high expectations and expect students to do their best always,” she said. “I truly enjoy teaching math and hope I can instill the love of math in my students.”
Leigh Adams, retired science teacher for Liberty, greatly influenced Wilhelm. “Mrs. Adams had such great patience with students and was always encouraging to both students and teachers,” Wilhelm said. “Her love of science showed in the way she taught. She truly cared for her students.”
During retirement, Adams volunteers in Liberty’s science classrooms. “I strive to be more like Mrs. Adams each day,” Wilhelm said.
Billie’s husband Ken works an engineer for AT&T. Their son Ryan will be a senior at James Clemens High School. Son Brody will be an eighth-grader at Liberty.
“I love camping with my family,” Wilhelm said. “Last summer, we took a two-week RV trip to Yellowstone. This summer, we’ll be traveling up the East Coast.”