New year, new school for educator

Published 10:15 am Thursday, August 1, 2013

Luverne native Annette Chandler probably described her 37-year teaching career and how she feels about the time she’s spent teaching this county’s children

best when she let her Facebook following know she was retiring.

“The human heart has four chambers,” she said. “In my first chamber, is a tiger because I am a proud graduate of LHS. It still thrills me to hear the fight song played. My second chamber has a Flying Squadron that represents my first teaching job. Those were a fabulous 11 years – such wonderful kids and parents. You helped me welcome the birth of my two girls. The third chamber, for the past 26 years, has had a Brantley Bulldog in it. Thank you for letting me be a part of your ‘family of friends.’ The fourth chamber is about to let a cougar in. I am excited and the cougar will find out that once you get in my heart, you stay.”

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Chandler retired this summer from the Crenshaw County School system, but isn’t ready to throw down her eraser, just yet.

When the bell rings for the start of school at CCA in a few weeks, Chandler will find her new home among sixth graders.

“I’m looking forward to getting to enjoy teaching like I used to,” she said, referring how education has evolved with new accountability standards and standardized testing. “I know I will have my course of study and how I present it will be OK. This will be a new change from the last few years.”

Chandler said she plans to teach as long as her health is good and she continues to enjoy teaching.

She has a lot of fond memories through her nearly four decades of molding students.

“I’ve taught all grades except kindergarten,” she said. “This summer I met one of my students from Highland Home with her grandchild. Highland has about four teachers, who were my students. I’m so proud of my kids.”

Though, Chandler loved her time at Highland, her daughters were in school at Brantley, and she wanted to be near them.

“When Mrs. Lucy Stricklin retired, I put a transfer request in,” she said. “I started in the little building with Debbie Christian, Vicki Furr and Jo Hodge.”

Through the years, she’s moved from the “first grade” building to the old elementary school, to a storage building to the new elementary school.

Chandler spoke of the satisfaction she felt when her first class graduated.

“When my first class graduated, there was such a pride in me knowing that I had a part in helping them get there,” she said. “I love looking at my students and seeing what they’ve done and what they’ve become. All of them are apart of my heart.”