#ThankALTeachers Week: Highlighting Our Hardworking Teachers with A+ College Ready

Needless to say, this year has been a difficult one. Our Alabama teachers deserve all the praise and recognition for the year they’ve endured, and for their dedication in putting students first. That’s why Governor Ivey along with the Alabama State Department of Education have designated November 16 – 22 as “Thank Alabama Teachers” Week in Alabama.

A+ College Ready is so thankful for each and every one of the teachers we work with in schools across the state. Below, our staff highlights some specific educators from our program schools who go above and beyond every day to raise expectations in their classrooms for all students.

“Words cannot express how thankful I am to all of the teachers in Alabama for the remarkable job they are doing this year for our students. While I know that all teachers are going above and beyond during this challenging time, there are two that stand out in terms of their dedication to continuous improvement by attending training sessions. Gwendolyn Hill and Robert Watson both attended a four-day training this summer and ten of the topics offered during the Fall Workshop Series. Gwen is a teacher at Talladega County High School and Robert is a teacher at P.A.S.S. Academy in Dothan. Thanks to both of you!”

-LeAnn Latta, Math Content Director, Grades 6-11


“I’d like to thank Brenda Morrow for the awesome job she does with her sixth grade English students in Ardmore, Alabama. Brenda is a phenomenal teacher whose love for her students and passion for educating them was obvious to me from the moment I met her. One of my favorite places to visit is her classroom! Brenda is a master of using probing questions to guide students to think critically. She helps them dig deep into the content while making the classroom fun and engaging! Thank you, Brenda, for all you do!”

-Pam Walker, A+ CR English Content Director, Grades 6-10


“I would like to extend gratitude to all the Social Studies teachers who have been working to further social science in our state. As it has been a unique year, teachers are doing what they do best!! A special thanks Amanda Pettaway at the School for Discovery for her exemplary participation in professional learning opportunities and her classroom creativity. She is willing to go the extra mile for her students. Thank you.”

-Dieatra Howie, Social Studies Content Director, Grades 6-10


“I would like to thank Danny Elegante for all of the high quality work that he has done for A+ College Ready over the years. Even though Danny just retired from his full-time position with Madison City Schools, Danny is always willing to complete any task that we at A+ need him to do. Over the last 6 months, Danny has led an AP Chemistry Advanced Placement Summer Institute, taught E3 Chemistry courses, presented at the A+ AP Conference, led AP Chemistry student study sessions, taught numerous virtual AP exam review sessions for students across the state, and created high quality curricular materials for both teachers and students. Danny has done all of this work with an attention to detail and a quirky sense of humor. He has been invaluable to both the 6-10 and AP Science programs at A+.”

-Matt Dean, Science Content Director, AP


Bonnie Jacques is an AP Calculus Teacher at East Limestone High School. She is always so positive and she lights up when she is with her students. She sets her goals high and students rise up to meet those goals. Her students grew from 0 QS to 11 Qualifying scores during the program. She is so dedicated to helping improve student growth, that she took on AP Computer Science so that her students would have an opportunity to improve their Computer Science skills.”

-Kitty Morgan, Math Content Director, AP


“I’d like to thank Leah Tucker, teacher at Orange Beach Middle School. Leah attended E3 training and she and I met before her school became part of the A+ program. Over the last couple of years, she has embraced the 7th science curriculum, and is taking extra efforts to become more familiar with the 8th grade lessons and activities. I appreciate her work ethic, willingness to learn, trust in the A+ process and leadership amongst the science department at her school. Orange Beach Middle teachers and students have overcome obstacles presented by COVID and a recent hurricane. They all remain optimistic and dedicated to their work of preparing students for success at the next level.”

-Mallory Harp, Science Content Director, Grades 6-10


“I would like to thank Mary Clair Wright. She is the Computer Science teacher at Davidson High School in Mobile, Alabama. She teaches APCSA, APCS Principles and Software Development. I would like to thank her for all the work she does to train teachers through developing and presenting Just in Time sessions for APCS Principles and for sharing her love of teaching computer science with participants in all of our training events throughout the year. She also shares her passion for computer science with students across the state of Alabama through the Student Study Sessions she develops and presents with love and enthusiasm.”

-Carol Yarbrough, Computer Science Content Director, AP


“Crossville High School has an Advanced Placement United States History teacher who motivates students to reach far beyond their comfort zone and accomplish things they never thought possible. Jacob Malone just completed his first year of teaching AP United States History with enthusiasm and gusto! Despite the high percentage of students who are English Language Learners, Malone inspires students to read nightly, to study regularly and to challenge themselves to gain college ready skills. When asked the secret to his success, Malone replies, “I tell them I am reading every night, too.” Consistent effort and a strict adherence to a plan is part of Malone’s secret to success. Clearly Malone has inspired success as his students earned eight qualifying scores, one of which was a 5, in his first year to teach the course.”

-Rhonda Rush, Social Studies Content Director, AP


“In this stressful time we are in, I don’t think enough credit and thanks is given to those dependable teachers who don’t make excuses but find a way to show up for their students. The teachers who find a way to make it to every PD opportunity that will help them to, more than just survive, but to grow as a teacher. I would like to thank Annie Knight for her continued dedication to help her students at Tanner High. Annie is one of the CS teachers who are doing double duty as a Middle School Computer Science and an AP Computer Science Principles Teacher. I have come to look forward to seeing Annie’s smiling face at every virtual session we offer. She is one of those dedicated teachers who rarely misses an opportunity to grow in CS and support her students. Always positive, smiling and ready to learn more Computer Science.”

-Gina McCarley, Computer Science Content Director, Grades 6-10


Dalila Spratt, English 10 and AP Language teacher at Fairfield High School, is truly one of a kind. I want to thank her for her hard work, her dedication to her students, her willingness to seek excellence no matter what, her smile that does not fade, her big heart. Dalila strives for her students to excel both inside and outside of the classroom; her passion is contagious, and I am so thankful for the opportunities that I have had to work with her, but I am even more thankful that I have the opportunity to call her my friend.”

-Erica Griffin, English Content Director, AP