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Skipper earns AEA prize for her Madison elementary classroom

MADISON – Julie Skipper, fifth-grade teacher at Madison Elementary School, received an award with the “Be A Champion and Read” contest, sponsored by the Alabama Education Association (AEA).

Alabama Education Association President Anita Gibson, at left, presents a $1,500 check to Madison Elementary School teacher Julie Skipper. Principal Dr. Timothy Scott coordinated the surprise presentation for Skipper. (CONTRIBUTED)
Alabama Education Association President Anita Gibson, at left, presents a $1,500 check to Madison Elementary School teacher Julie Skipper. Principal Dr. Timothy Scott coordinated the surprise presentation for Skipper. (CONTRIBUTED)

AEA promotes the contest to build excitement for reading among students and parents.

Skipper received $1,500 dollars from AEA for use in the classroom.

Only three other Alabama teachers, two students and a school library received prizes, which ranged from Iron Bowl tickets to grants for classrooms and libraries.

Skipper learned about her award in a surprise presentation, which Madison Elementary Principal Dr. Tim Scott arranged on Dec. 2. AEA President Anita Gibson visited Skipper’s classroom to present the prize.

Madison elementary participates every year in the contest. University of Alabama mascot Big Al and Auburn University mascot Aubie help with promotions.

“Students become excited about it and enjoy voting for their favorite team, Alabama or Auburn,” Skipper said. While Skipper is an Auburn fan, most of her students are Alabama supporters. Rivalry motivated the teams to read even more.

To participate, students had to read six Accelerated Reader (AR) books, which they selected in all genres and subjects. “They kept a log of their books, had to summarize the book and take an AR test on the book,” Skipper said.

All of Skipper’s 75 students met their goal.

Across Alabama, 74,362 students from 728 schools read six books each for a total of 446,172 books, public relations manager John Peck said. A Tarrant City School received a $5,000 library grant for having the top participation in book reading.

Her husband Jim works as an electrical engineer at Raytheon. Their children are Melissa Liebrecht and James Skipper. The Skippers moved from Bristol, Tenn. to Madison 15 years ago with Jim’s job.

Skipper earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She has taught at Madison elementary for 13 years. In her spare time, Julie enjoys quilting and sewing.

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