• 66°

Bonnie Howard named finalist for Alabama Teacher of the Year

MADISON – The Alabama State Department of Education has named Bonnie Howard among 16 finalists for Alabama Teacher of the Year.

Howard works as Library Media Specialist at Madison Elementary School.

The state board next will lower candidates to four and then reveal the winner in May. Alabama’s Teacher of the Year serves as a full-time ambassador for education, gives workshops to various audiences and is eligible for the national title.

Before teaching, Howard worked as Public Health Environmentalist for Madison County. “Madison Elementary School has been my home since 2012,” she said.

Her sideline commitments include sponsoring BiblioTECHs, a club of fourth- and fifth-graders who are library ambassadors, learn library and technology skills and participate in purchasing new books.

Howard also serves on the budget committee, ‘building leadership’ team, as independent reading chairperson and sponsors two book fairs and multicultural night. “At the district level, I serve on the EL (English learners) team, 1:1 technology team and the new Transformative Teaching team to support digital literacy and computer standards,” she said.

Initially, Howard chose to work for Madison City Schools because her children were students and the educational opportunities impressed her. “I stayed with MCS because educators, staff, administrators and school board are second to none,” she said.

“I always feel so supported. The MCS vision, ‘Empowering All Students for Global Success,’ aligns with my teaching philosophy,” Howard said.

As Library Media Specialist, Howard has the unique opportunity to teach all students, grades K-5. She strives for the library to function as an extension of the classroom.

“I work collaboratively with teachers to design lessons that empower students to be critical thinkers, enthusiastic readers and global collaborators,” Howard said. “I approach education as a safe place to land when trying something new . . . where mistakes are viewed as opportunities for learning and not a projection of failure.”

Howard transforms challenges to successes. A fifth-grade math teacher wanted collaborative activities for division. Finding a “division house” activity, Howard created a Canva template of a house’s blank outline, which students illustrated with Canva.

“This activity included math and digital literacy . . . an engaging win,” Howard said. “Helping students amplify their learning and become critical-thinking, creative, collaborative communicators has been an exciting opportunity.”

In another success, early readers needed their first chapter books. “I’ve curated books for students . . . like a personal book concierge,” Howard said. “Students come back looking for similar books. Nothing is more rewarding than helping students fall in love with reading.”

Howard is a two-time Fund For Teachers fellow. In February, she materialized her Fund For Teachers fellowship into the library’s “Fairy Tale February.” With help from MCS media specialists and theatre teachers, the experiment morphed a district-wide collaboration. (http://bit.ly/3Us4D6L)

With her 2020 grant, she documented art, landscape and architecture in Germany, Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary that inspired classic fairy tales. In 2022, an Innovation Grant led Howard to design a “culturally affirmative and linguistically accessible library.”

Howard earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial hygiene at the University of North Alabama. She then received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Athens State University and a master’s degree with concentration in library media from the University of West Alabama. She holds certification for several disciplines/ages.

Her husband Chris works as a Senior Application Developer at ADTRAN. Their daughter June Barr is Data Rights Manager at Collins Aerospace; her husband Aaron is an Aerospace Engineer (civilian/U.S. Army). Son Price is a Software Developer for a local defense contractor, and Price’s fiance, Arielle Gallien, will graduate in nursing from UNA in May.

In 2020, Chris and Bonnie bought a small RV, named Oliver (oliverthe.world). “I’m a super proud ‘Bebe’ to grandchildren Eleanor and Ezekiel,” Bonnie said.

Madison

Columbia reaches distinction of CLAS Banner School

Madison

Midtown names Robinson as Staff Member of the Year

James Clemens High School

James Clemens’ health science breaks acceptance records

Liberty Middle School

Avula earns Mayor’s Award for Scholastic Excellence

Harvest

Redstone Arsenal to celebrate Army’s birthday

Madison

Messiah Lutheran installs Kristine Schroeder as pastor

Digital Version

The Madison Record digital version – May 31, 2023

Discovery Middle School

Mackey honored as Discovery’s ‘Staff Member of the Year’

Huntsville

Madison Lions Club gives eye screening at health fair

Bob Jones High School

American Legion Auxiliary names 4 for Alabama Girls State

Bob Jones High School

Central Office chooses Sellers as top staff member

Events

Huntsville City Football Club to continue first homestand at Joe Davis Stadium 

Huntsville

Joint statement from the city of Huntsville, city of Madison, and Madison County on U.S. Space Command investigation

Huntsville

Strong, Rogers launch investigation into delayed U.S. Space Command HQ announcement 

Events

Alabama Jubilee Hot Air Balloon Classic to be held on Memorial Day weekend

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

At Age 89 Charles Terrell To Walk The 5K Cotton Row Run With Three Daughters Alongside

Business

Gun store’s proximity to schools sparks debate at city council meeting

Gun store’s proximity to schools sparks debate at city council meeting

Digital Version

The Madison Record digital version – May 24, 2023 – Special Graduation Issue

Events

Para-Cycling Road World Cup puts athletes and Huntsville on world stage

James Clemens High School

‘Teacher of the Year’ at Horizon goes to Rebecca Wilson

Events

Crews prepare for this weekend’s Alabama Jubilee in Decatur

Madison

Rotary Club honors Madison’s employees of the year

Events

Eats 4 Education food truck event to support The Schools Foundation set for Thursday

Events

Make Music Day Huntsville encourages residents to let their talents shine on June 21

x