Not even cancer can diminish this teacher’s commitment to students

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MADISON CO., Ala. (WHNT) - The Tools-for-Teachers spotlight this week shines on Bambi Dean, a third grade teacher at Mt. Carmel Elementary whose inspirational story is a testament to the commitment she has for her students.

We heard about our honoree from a mother who expressed a deep gratitude for the impact Ms. Dean had on her son, who faces some special challenges from Asperger's Syndrome. But her story goes beyond that.

"Two years ago I was diagnosed with cervical cancer," Ms. Dean told us. "I had 6 weeks of chemo and 36 radiation treatments, and it put me out of my classroom."

It's no surprise that one of the most difficult aspects of the ordeal for Ms. Dean was being away from her students.  In fact, it was only at principal Kerrie Bass's insistence that Ms. Dean took the time to focus on her own health.

"I had to force her to stay home and take her chemo treatments and radiation," said Ms. Bass. "She was still calling and checking on the kids every day."

"Just releasing the reigns with somebody else to take over my babies... it was really really hard," Ms. Dean said. "It was probably the most challenging thing that I ever had to do."

But that time away from school was worth it.  We're happy to report Ms. Dean recently had her last visit to her radiation oncologist and has been given a clean bill of health.

If you know a worthy teacher, coach, principal, or aide, tell us about them through the Tools for Teachers nomination form.

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