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FDA hosts development day

Kathy Stewart, a special agent with the Alabama Bureau of Investigation, discussed Internet dangers to children at a professional development day hosted by Fort Dale Academy. (Advocate Staff/Andy Brown)

Approximately 180 teachers from six schools gathered at Fort Dale Academy to gain a better understanding of how to help students.

Fort Dale Academy hosted a professional development day on Monday for District III.

“Instead of a statewide development day as we have had in the past, the professional development was done on a district basis,” David Brantley, headmaster of Fort Dale Academy, said. “The program was great, and it was well received by the people who were here. The presenters did an excellent job, and it was just a good opportunity for us as a school to host such an event. We felt very good about the day.”

The presenters included John Gibbons, state director of Fellowship of Christian Athletes, who gave a presentation on spiritual inspiration for students.

“He gave some great points about the commitment teachers have and also spiritual information to help lead children,” Brantley said. “It’s not necessary to monitor or be involved in children’s private lives, but (teachers should) be a source for children that they can come to.”

Rebecca Ellis, a Montgomery parent, also talked about her son who committed suicide and how her family has grown from that experience. Kathy Stewart, a special agent of ABI Cyber-Crime Unit presented “Internet Dangers to Children.”

“She gave great information that all of us are better served by hearing,” Brantley said. “I think that the information is good for us as educators and teachers to help provide the information for parents and just be aware of it.”

The goal of the day was an attempt to give timely information to educators and to serve as a source of motivation for those in attendance, Brantley said.

“It comes at a time when teachers need a day that just serves as a revitalization,” Brantley said. “It was good information, it was good program and it was a fast-moving program. Teachers had an opportunity to work within their own subject area or grade level for a while. It was great day for our teachers.”