Alabama Teacher Named
2003 National Teacher of the Year
President George W. Bush announced on April 30, 2003, Betsy Rogers as the 2003 National Teacher of the Year at a special ceremony in Washington. The ceremony also honored the 2003 State Teachers of the Year.
The National Teacher of the Year Program is sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and Scholastic Inc., the global childrenˇ¦s publishing and media company. The program focuses public attention on teaching excellence and is the oldest and most prestigious awards program for teachers. Rogers, the fifty-third National Teacher of the Year, will begin a year as a full-time national and international spokesperson for education in June 2003.
"I believe the teacher must embrace the whole child in a caring and positive manner, that the classroom should foster a climate that provides children with experiences that assist in developing the whole child, and that the teacher must acknowledge the varying pace of each child's development." says Rogers.
Rogers was born on March 2, 1952 in Birmingham, Alabama, and graduated from Woodlawn High School in the Birmingham Public School System. In 1974 she earned her bachelorˇ¦s degree in elementary education from Samford University in Birmingham. Her masterˇ¦s, specialist, and doctoral degrees were also earned from Samford in 1998, 2000, and 2002 respectively.
Rogers began teaching in 1974 at Hewitt Elementary School in the Jefferson County system. After taking time off beginning in 1976 to raise her two sons, Alan and Rick, she returned to education in 1982 teaching movement education and kindergarten for the Early Learning Program at the First Baptist Church in Leeds.
In 1984 Rogers returned to the Jefferson County Schools as a seventh- and eighth-grade math teacher at Leeds Middle School before transferring to Leeds Elementary School the following year. She taught first grade for five years, then second grade for seven years before implementing the looping concept with first and second graders.