Local teacher reflects on 30th First Day of School

MADISON COUNTY, Ala -- Today was the first day back at school for Madison County. Students were up bright and early, but for one teacher, it`s a routine she`s been doing for the last 30 years.

Amy O`Dell has been teaching for Madison County Schools all these years.

O`Dell teaches gifted students at Moores Mill Intermediate School. "Most children are picked up in the second grade that show some kind of characteristic of giftedness; rather it`s academic IQ or creativity, just thinking in a different way," O'Dell explained.

O`Dell said there`s nothing like the first day of school.

"You know a friendly face someone they are used to. You give them a hug or a high five. I believe it`s a happy and secure place for kids and they want to be here," O'Dell said.

"We spent all of last week talking about the first day of school. Thinking why are we here? What is our purpose as a school? It's to be here for children," Principal Daniel Evans said.

The school`s principal has worked for Madison County Schools for 12 years; in fact, he remembers being in the first grade when O`Dell first began teaching.

"She was always a great teacher, lively, fun. I didn`t have the pleasure of having her, but growing up in an education family we knew Miss. O`Dell. She`s full of ideas and the kids love her," Evans said.

It`s love the kids don`t forget.

"The girl hands me my food and says Miss O`Dell it`s you and I`m like this is great! Same eyes from first grade just the grown up version. To have that kind of enthusiasm in the community it`s great," O'Dell said.

After three decades of teaching, she`s not skipped a beat.

She spent the summer working camp and hosting events at the school, so for her it felt like the school year never stopped.