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Betty Esslinger brings joy to Scottsboro High School for over four decades

JACKSON COUNTY, Ala - Say hello to Betty Essingler, affectionately known as Mama E.

Betty Esslinger teaches English at Scottsboro High School.

"Mrs. Essligner is the closest thing to being Scottsboro High School that we all know. She has been teaching here for 47 years," said Principal Brad Dudley.

Her efforts extend beyond the classroom.

"She sponsors the prom for us, she has been a cheerleader sponsor for us, she teaches AP Lit classes for us."

Thank goodness Mrs. Esslinger settled in Scottsboro. It almost didn't happen.

"My roots run deep here. When Johnny Esslinger asked me to marry him I said I would if he would live in Scottsboro. So he said he would. He took a lot of odd jobs so I could live in this town." she said.

Mama E added she has a simple goal.

"If I can make a difference in one of these kids lives I think I have been successful."

And she has. More than we can count, from letters to photos of former students, Mama E continues to make a positive impact.

It's not only the kids that keep her going.

"Kids, I teach kids and I get to teach American Literature, and British Literature, all the things that I love. Books, words, the meaning of words."

And fortunately, she isn't going anywhere.

"She has the passion she always had. No sign of slowing down," said Principal Dudley.

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.