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Colleagues laud Hartfield as Jets’ Top Teacher

MADISON – Nancy Hartfield recently solved a drawback with virtual learning for her students during the pandemic. Hartfield is 2020 Teacher of the Year at James Clemens High School.

Few students were sharing their video during Google Meet. “I was basically looking at a sea of names. I’m used to looking out at their faces, and I just know — that one understood but the one over there didn’t,” Hartfield said.

Hartfield created a Google Voice account so students could text her and schedule one-on-one appointments. “This personal interaction is a central element to my teaching philosophy of engaging each student at their level,” Hartfield said. “This has been the most challenging time of my teaching career.”

Hartfield graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi with a master’s degree in mathematics. She taught several years at a community college in Mississippi, then at Athens State University and Calhoun Community College.

After teaching four years at Liberty Middle School, she transferred when James Clemens opened. Currently, she instructs teachers during summer with APlus College Ready.

At James Clemens, Hartfield teaches Advanced-Placement Calculus BC. “I love my job. I love to see the look on students’ face when they finally ‘get it,’” she said.

She sponsors First Priority and Students for Life and coaches the Jettes Dance Line with James Clemens Band.

This semester, Hartfield observed a busy student who participated in numerous activities and was enrolled in challenging courses. This student handled the workload at first but lagged toward the middle of the year.

“I was worried this student would lose focus but that didn’t happen,” Hartfield said. The student met with Hartfield in February, and they mapped out a plan to move forward.

They planned to meet regularly, but the schools closure squashed that plan. “We couldn’t have those meetings in person, but we were still able to meet. Not as often as planned but enough,” Hartfield said.

The student finished the year very strong. “The determination at the end to do well, when so many students stopped working, was impressive. I’m convinced the result will be success on the AP exam. I’m super proud,” Hartfield said.

Her husband Stuart works in chemical sales for Daikin America. Their children are Jesse, 23, a student at the University of Alabama in Huntsville; Jonathan 21, an Auburn University student; and Joshua, 11, sixth-grader at Liberty Middle School.

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