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As Teacher of the Year, Large instills ‘higher-order’ thinking

This school year, Lisa Large taught math, social studies and spelling to fifth-graders at Mill Creek Elementary School. (CONTRIBUTED)
This school year, Lisa Large taught math, social studies and spelling to fifth-graders at Mill Creek Elementary School. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Lisa Large is Teacher of the Year at Mill Creek Elementary School.

She previously taught at Heritage and Columbia elementary schools. This year, Large taught math, social studies and spelling to Mill Creek fifth-graders. She participated with the Strategic Leadership Team, Alabama Powerful Conversations Network and co-chaired the Home Connect Committee.

Large focuses “on transforming student learning … into higher-order thinking, rather than a recipe of formulas and solutions.” She advises students that “many paths (lead) to the correct solution, if you can justify your reasoning.” She wants students “to think deeper about the mathematical process … (for use) in a real-life environment.”

Large feels pride “seeing students succeed and become confident from academic and personal standpoints. The major challenge is changing a student’s negative viewpoint toward education. You have to address and overcome this hurdle … then, proceed toward developing the academic content.”

For Large, the key is getting to know students — their individual strengths and weaknesses.

In other honors, she was a Disneyland Teacher of the Year nominee, named an U.S. Achievement Academy All-American Scholar and was published by Steps International.

Large remembers her sixth-grade teachers’ “engaging and active” instruction at East Ward Elementary School in Corbin, Ky. Her “terrific math teacher explained everything in detail and used an overhead projector — really cool.” Large’s language arts/reading teacher “mesmerized” her and instilled the love of reading. Her science teacher led construction of rockets, which they shot at the football field.

Large will always remember the “Class of 2019-2020. My homeroom class especially touched my heart. Everyone showed outstanding character and leadership.” Her class planted a garden in her honor.

Large received a bachelor’s degree at Athens State University and a master’s degree from the University of West Alabama.

Her husband Tim is an U.S. Army engineer. Daughter Erin is a junior nursing major at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Son Josh works for SunTrust Bank in Atlanta and is engaged to Julia Simcoe.

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