Jones named AISA Teacher of the Year

Published 5:18 pm Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Butler County educator has been named Alabama Independent School Assocation (AISA) Teacher of the Year.

Starla Jones of Georgiana, a 20-plus year veteran of the classroom, was nominated for the award by members of the SGA at Fort Dale Academy.

“I was pleasantly surprised and extremely honored to be chosen.” Jones said.

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“I am really glad to have this opportunity to represent all of the faculty and students of Fort Dale Academy.”

Jones began her teaching career at the Highland Home School where she worked for two years, then spent nine years teaching at Greenville High School.

She is now in her 10th year at FDA, where she has worn a variety of hats.

“I’ve served as a guidance counselor for three years, a curriculum coordinator for seven years and an advanced mathematics teacher for eight years,” Jones said.

“What I find most exciting about the field of education is working with people and being subjected to constant change. But what I really enjoy the most about teaching is getting to do math. I love it and I think everybody else should, too,” she said with a smile.

“I know everyone isn’t going to love it as much as I do, so maybe I can make it tolerable and, even somewhat palatable. That is the daily challenge.”

And her duties at FDA go beyond the classroom. She also serves as sponsor of Mu Alpha Theta, the math honor society; is a SACS visit coordinator and review team member; serves as a local, district and state math tournament coordinator; ACT prep course coordinator, as well as coordinator for all standardized testing and Honors Day. Jones has also served as an adjunct math instructor for LBWCC – Greenville for two years.

Jones is noted for her musical talents as well as her math wizardry, talents she shares with her church and community. She is a member of Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church, where she serves as interim minister of music, pianist and youth director.

Jones just made her third appearance as a featured performer with the Ritz Players in the GAAC musical fundraiser, “Shine!” rocking the house as Martha of Martha and the Vandellas.

She is also a featured soloist for a variety of local events, including the annual Hank Williams Festival in Georgiana and for the American Cancer Society Relay For Life. A cancer survivor herself, Jones serves as a motivational speaker for those battling cancer and their families and friends.

In addition, Jones serves as chairman of the Butler County Junior Miss Board of Directors and a member of the board of directors for the Alabama Junior Miss Scholarship Foundation.

“I love this county and its people and enjoy being an active part of the community,” Jones said.

“Receiving this award makes me so appreciative of all the support I receive each day. I appreciate the SGA so much for making the nomination possible, and to our headmaster, David Brantley, for all his leadership and support.”