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Top teacher to visit May 3

DEMOPOLIS– Dr. Betsy Rogers, National Teacher of the Year for 2003, will speak at 6 p.m. on May 3 at Westside Elementary School in Demopolis.

The occasion will be at the regular meeting of the Demopolis City Schools P. T. A

Rogers will be speaking on the importance of education in a child’s life. She will also share some of her experiences she has had while traveling the U.S. and abroad as National Teacher of the Year.

Rogers is a teacher at Leeds Elementary School in Jefferson County, Alabama. She first began teaching in 1974 at Hewitt Elementary School, also in Jefferson County. She was the 53rd Teacher of the year and the first to represent Alabama.

When she began teaching the children in Leeds in 1985 the poverty, abuse, and neglect experienced every day by some of her students overwhelmed her. “I wanted to change the world for them,” Rogers said. “It took me several years to realize I could not change the world in which my students lived. But by understanding that school was the best place for some of my children, I became committed to making my classroom a place where students feel safe as well as creating an environment that provides joy to those with unfortunate lives.”

Rogers was born on March 2, 1952 in Birmingham and graduated from Woodlawn High School in the Birmingham Public School System.

In 1974 she earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Samford University in Birmingham. She has also earned three degrees, a masters in elementary education, an educational specialist in elementary education degree, and a doctorate in educational leadership.

The May 3 program is sponsored by the Demopolis City Schools P. T. A., and is open to the public.