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The Madison Record

Bob Jones selects Elegante as ‘Teacher of the Year’

The Elegante family is shown at 2015 graduation ceremonies for Bob Jones High School. Danny Elegante, who is "Teacher of the Year" for Bob Jones, is at left with Chris, Sarah and wife Donna. (CONTRIBUTED)
The Elegante family is shown at 2015 graduation ceremonies for Bob Jones High School. Danny Elegante, who is “Teacher of the Year” for Bob Jones, is at left with Chris, Sarah and wife Donna. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – In his ninth year at Bob Jones High School, Daniel ‘Danny’ Elegante has been named “Teacher of the Year.”

He teaches chemistry, including pre-advanced placement (AP) and AP classes. He helps with Science National Honor Society and Science Olympiad Team, serves as science department chair and as district lead for AP science.

Elegante’s years as a student involved “the filling station model — ‘Pull in, fill her up.’ If I didn’t learn something, it was the teacher’s fault.”

Upending that model, he places the student as “the hardest working individual. My classroom is managed chaos.” He gives students “the information, my help, a comfortable atmosphere and make them responsible for their own learning … not sitting in quiet rows but working in talkative groups.”

“I’m very proud to watch my students working so hard and seeing good things come from that work,” he said.

The biggest drawback is “their life outside school. If a student has to work lots of hours, has a difficult home life or lacks home support, it’s sad to know I can only do so much,” Elegante said.

He commends AP teachers for “an awesome job, putting in long hours preparing their students.”

Although English wasn’t his forte, Elegante fondly remembers his English teacher for her “personal interest in students. She’d take time to come by desks, make positive comments, ask about their day and learn about their families. Teaching was something that gave her life meaning and not just a job.”

“I still come to work loving what I do and remembering her,” he said.

At the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Elegante earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology, minoring in chemistry. He previously taught at Grissom High School for 13 years.

His wife Donna works as office manager at Griffin Appraisals. Their son Chris has completed his junior year at Mississippi State University studying mechanical engineering. Daughter Sarah is a 2015 Bob Jones graduate and will enter the University of Alabama and major in elementary education.

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