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Bob Jones elects Runnion as top teacher

Tom Runnion and daughter Parker compare their catches on a fishing trip. He is Bob Jones High School's Teacher of the Year. CONTRIBUTED
Tom Runnion and daughter Parker compare their catches on a fishing trip. He is Bob Jones High School’s Teacher of the Year. CONTRIBUTED

MADISON – Tom Runnion was the choice for Teacher of the Year at Bob Jones High School, as voted on by faculty and staff at the school.

At Bob Jones, Runnion teaches both biology and marine biology.

Within the past 12 months, Runnion was pleased with the outcome of a unique field trip that he arranged. He and Bob Jones science teacher Ben Johnston led a student group to E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center in April. (The definition of ‘biophilia’ is a love of nature and living things.)

“Students learned about the longleaf pine ecosystem at a 53,000-acre facility in Freeport, Fla.,” Runnion said. “The staff and director of the Biophilia Center were incredibly impressed with our students.”

“The most rewarding part of my job is when I talk to students from the past that have chosen marine biology as a career, and they tell me that our class is what led them to that career,” Runnion said.

Looking back on teachers during his years of education, Runnion especially remembers one of his coaches. “Duane Reboul, my college basketball coach, had an incredible impact on my life,” Runnion said.

“Reboul was an incredible coach but, more importantly, he is an amazing man who taught us (and still does to this day) about how to handle life in general,” Runnion said.

Runnion earned a bachelor’s degree in biology at Birmingham-Southern College.

He has taught at Bob Jones for four years. Before teaching in Madison, he worked at Sparkman High School for three years, Huntsville High School for nine years and Albertville High School for one year.

“My wife is Paige Styles Runnion, who teaches sixth grade at Horizon Elementary School. We have one daughter, Parker, who will be a seventh-grader at Discovery Middle School in the fall,” he said.

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