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Educators honored: Butler County teachers of the year

The Butler County Board of Education announced the Butler County Teachers of the Year 2019-20 winners Alison Edwards and Monica Robinson.

Edwards is a kindergarten teacher at Georgiana Schools and says it’s an honor to even be considered for the award.

“I am deeply honored to have been chosen to represent Butler County as Elementary Teacher of the Year,” Edwards said. “I truly believe that I was made to teach kindergarten.”

Edwards is beginning her 21st year of teaching and most of those years have been spent in Georgiana.

“I love my kindergarten students and I love my school,” Edwards said. “I have wonderful colleagues that support me daily.”

Many challenges may have surfaced along with the current pandemic, but Edwards says it hasn’t stopped her love for what she does and the children she inspires.

“Teaching kindergarten is a challenge and this year is no exception,” Edwards said. “I find joy in reading to my students and engaging them in activities where we can have fun while we learn, and this year that includes sending videos to virtual students of me doing these fun, engaging activities by myself. This is very out of my comfort zone but my students are loving it.”

Edwards is looking to use her award money to cater to her students.

“I plan to use my $300 that I won for classroom supplies to purchase a new classroom library,” Edwards concluded.

Monica Robinson is a seventh grade teacher at Greenville Middle School.

“Winning Teacher of the Year for my school was a shock to me, so you can imagine how surprised I was when I heard my name called for Teacher of the Year for Butler County,” Robinson said. “I wasn’t shocked because I felt like I don’t do my job or I don’t deserve it, I was shocked because I don’t feel like I do anything special.

“I do my job and make sure my students know I love them and want them to succeed. I don’t feel like a superhero. Apparently, my students, colleagues, and administrators saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself.”

Robinson has faced a few challenges this year, one of them being her struggle with Crohn’s disease.

“Winning this award is especially important to me because over the past few years I have struggled with the chronic symptoms of Crohn’s disease,” Robinson said. “The year I won this award was particularly hard for me and I contemplated leaving the teaching field.

“I love teaching and I prayed to God for relief from this ugly disease. Even though I was in a lot of pain, I woke up every morning, came to school, and gave my students all the love and knowledge I could give them. I was blessed with neighboring teachers who helped to make things easier for me on days when I was feeling extremely bad.”

Despite the illness she faces, Robinson wasn’t going to allow the disease to stop her from impacting the lives of her students.

“God allowing me to win this award in the midst of my pain gave me confirmation that I was where He wanted me to be,” Robinson said. “Thankfully, this summer he healed my body through surgery and I was able to come back this year ready to hit the ground running, pain free. I say all of this because I want people, especially my students, to know that, when life gets tough, it’s important to keep going and not give up.

“When you feel like you are invisible and no one sees your greatness, there is always someone who notices and you will be rewarded for your efforts in God’s timing. I am truly honored to be teaching the seventh graders of Greenville Middle School. I do and will always carry them in my heart. I will continue to do my best to love and educate the students of this wonderful school system. Thanks to all who had a hand in making this a proud moment for me!”