Special education teacher honored for dedication inside and outside the classroom

MADISON COUNTY - Students are back in class for a new school year.  That means we are heading back to school as well to recognize teachers who go above and beyond the call of duty.

This year, WHNT News 19 Meteorologist Ben Smith will be awarding $319 each week to a deserving public school teacher in the Tennessee Valley.

Recently, Ben traveled to Sparkman High School in Madison County to honor Amy Alsup as a recipient of the first Tools for Teachers award for the 2016-2017 school year.

Alsup works as a special education teacher at Sparkman High.  One of her fellow teachers, Lisa Miller, nominated her for the honor citing her dedication to her students both inside and outside the classroom.

"I’ve known Miss Alsup and worked with her for four years," Miller said.  "She has so much passion about what she does."

Principal Chris Shaw agrees.

"She always teaches as hard as she can," Shaw said.

Ben then made the announcement official in front of Alsup’s students and colleagues.

“She is the winner of this week’s Tools for Teachers at WHNT!” said Ben.

Alsup said she had no clue she had been nominated for the Tools for Teachers award.

"Well, that is the most wonderful surprise I think I have ever gotten," Alsup said.

Alsup says, for her, teaching is not just her job -- it’s her life’s work.

"I felt called to be with these kids in this environment," said Alsup.

It’s a calling her colleagues say extends beyond the classroom.

"She is very motivated to want to give these students a very special night as they come to the conclusion of their high school years," said fellow Sparkman High School teacher Lisa Miller.

That special night Miller is referring to is a prom Alsup helps organize for her students.

"I never come to school dreading it, I never leave wishing that I never had to come back," Alsup said.

Tell us about a public school teacher you feel deserves recognition.  Send us your nomination today!  Honorees will receive $319 for their classroom.  Nominees must teach in K-12 public schools in the WHNT News 19 viewing area.