• 70°

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.


Stores, parents gearing up for sales-tax holiday


FCA Sports Camps- Faith And Sports

Digital Version

Digital version of The Madison Record – July 17, 2024


Madison Senior Center assists in TARCOG’s ‘Live and Live Well’ launch announcement


Canine officer, Bear, joins Madison Police force to detect devices, offer therapy

Bob Jones High School

Tosha Swearingen now serving as Rainbow Assistant Principal

James Clemens High School

Holmes accepts Assistant Principal position at Midtown


Nedjra Russell named Administrator of West Madison Pre-Kindergarten Center


Space & Rocket Center CEO to speak at chamber’s ‘Business Over Breakfast’


Main Street Alabama presents revitalization potential for downtown Madison

Main Street Alabama presents revitalization potential for downtown Madison


Sparkman Grad Picked By Kansas City Royals In Major League Baseball Draft


“I’m Meant To Be Here”- Dell Pettus Signs With New England Patriots- Former Sparkman Player Goes Pro


Get those pumpkins planted: Halloween starts in July


CAFY Back to School event to be held Saturday at Calhoun’s Huntsville campus

Bob Jones High School

Teachers support DIAL Scholarship program at UAH


Joe Davis Stadium to host UNA vs. Jax State collegiate soccer match Aug. 18


UAH announces search for a master developer to enhance college-town experience


Huntsville Parks & Recreation to host inaugural Color Jam Family Fun Run & Walk


Fernandez named Assistant Coordinator of Accountability and Innovative Programs


ALEA reports 9 traffic deaths, 3 drownings over July Fourth travel period


Management institute awards scholarship to Michelle Epling


Sarah Crouch’s debut novel, ‘Middletide,’ sets whodunnit in Puget Sound

Liberty Middle School

White named Secondary Instructional Technology Specialist


Nominations open for chamber’s Annual Gala Awards