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Brandon, Bohatch named district’s best

Nancy Brandon, at left, receives a $5,000 check as District Elementary Teacher of the Year. Presenting the check are 2014 honoree Joy Wilson and superintendent Dr. Dee Fowler. (CONTRIBUTED)
Nancy Brandon, at left, receives a $5,000 check as District Elementary Teacher of the Year. Presenting the check are 2014 honoree Joy Wilson and superintendent Dr. Dee Fowler. (CONTRIBUTED)
Carol Bohatch, at left, is District Secondary Teacher of the Year. Superintendent Dr. Dee Fowler and 2014 honoree Robin Lakso are presenting the award to Bohatch. (CONTRIBUTED)
Carol Bohatch, at left, is District Secondary Teacher of the Year. Superintendent Dr. Dee Fowler and 2014 honoree Robin Lakso are presenting the award to Bohatch. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – This year’s top teachers for Madison City Schools district are Nancy Brandon for elementary grades and Carol Bohatch for secondary grades.

Brandon and Bohatch were recognized at Institute Day on July 30. Keynote speaker was John Croyle, founder of Big Oak Ranch for boys in Gadsden and girls in Springville.

“Teacher of the Year” winners from each campus were eligible for the district honor.

A first-grade teacher at Rainbow Elementary School, Brandon serves on the English Language Arts committee, numerous leadership teams and as a mentor for student teachers. “Students begin each year dependent learners and leave independent thinking powerhouses,” Brandon said.

As “Elementary District Teacher of the Year,” Brandon said her heart always goes out for those students who are “underdogs: The children who need someone on their side, someone to believe in them, even when they don’t believe in themselves.”

Brandon earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She also has taught in South Carolina, Virginia and locally at Madison elementary.

She and husband Stewart Brandon Sr. have two sons: 1st Lt. Stewart Brandon Jr., an aeronautical engineer in the U.S. Air Force, and Spencer Brandon, a University of Alabama student.

Bohatch, “Secondary District Teacher of the Year, teaches pre-advanced placement and AP chemistry at James Clemens High School. She founded a teacher-student mentorship program, serves in the faculty senate and co-sponsors Science National Honor Society.

With the district’s Aspiring Administrators Program, Bohatch facilitates research between chemistry professors at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and James Clemens students.

“Seeing students grow, no matter what level they appear at the beginning of the course, I always feel rewarded if I can facilitate some growth,” Bohatch said. She strives to convince students to build self-confidence.

Bohatch earned a bachelor’s degree at Kent State University and a master’s degree at the University of Akron. She formerly taught in Ohio and at Bob Jones High School.

She and husband Rob have two daughters: Emily, a sophomore at Ohio University, and Katie, a Bob Jones sophomore.

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