Leah Henderson named Kitty Stone Elementary “Teacher of the Year”
Leah Henderson makes learning fun. Just ask anyone who has had the pleasure of being one of her first grade students. Henderson always knew that she wanted to be a teacher, and now 26 years later she couldn’t imagine doing anything else. She received her B.S. and M.S. in Early Childhood Education from JSU. Her first job was at The Children's House where she taught four-year-olds for almost a year. She then taught kindergarten for 5 and a half years at Donoho. Henderson came to Kitty Stone in January of 1996, and has taught first grade ever since. She is the youngest of six and has always loved children.
She is married to Don Henderson and they have four children. Daughter Hillary is 25 years old and works as an event coordinator in the Athletic Dept. at Auburn University; Hannah Leigh is 23 years old and is an R.N. in the Neuro I.C.U. at U.A.B; Heather is an 8th grader at J.H.S; and son, Hayden, is a 5th grader at Kitty Stone. “One of the greatest joys in life is spending time with my family,” says Henderson.
“Anyone who teaches young children knows that it is a time-consuming job but very rewarding! I love the natural curiosity of the young mind and their capacity to love! My goal as a teacher is to instill a love of learning and a desire to know more about their world around them,” said Henderson. In addition to teaching, Henderson enjoys reading and flowers. “I enjoy growing flowers and arranging them.” She also enjoys being a member of “the best Sunday School class at First Baptist Church Jacksonville. That is where the teacher gets to become the student,” adds Henderson.
According to KSE principal (grades Pre-K through grade three) Rhonda Tinker, “Leah Henderson has developed a keen sense of discernment for recognizing the needs of individual students and she has the expertise for meeting those needs. Every student experiences success in her classroom because they know she loves them like her own.”
“I feel blessed beyond measure to have been voted Kitty Stone Elementary School’s “Teacher of the Year.” I love being a teacher, but to be honest, I would be a mere shadow of a teacher, were it not for all the amazing people that surround me at Kitty Stone, from the teachers, administrators, support staff, students and parents.” Congratulations, Leah Henderson, for your achievements in earning Kitty Stone Elementary “Teacher of the Year.”
Phyllis Morrison named Jacksonville High School “Teacher of the Year”
It is no surprise that Phyllis Morrison has been awarded Jacksonville High School “Teacher of the Year”. She is known for going over and beyond assisting her students in realizing their potential and achieving excellence. “Mrs. Morrison is the type of teacher that wants all her students to be successful. She gives her number to all of her students and parents so they can call her if they need help with their math after hours. That is going the extra mile, “stated JHS Principal, Bill Singleton.
Morrison earned a Bachelor of Science and Masters at the University of South Alabama in Mobile. In 2012, she earned her Educational Specialist degree at Jacksonville State University. She is married to Rodney Morrison and they have a son, Andrew Boudousquie, he graduated from Jacksonville High School in 2011 and is currently a senior at the University of Alabama; daughter, Cathy Boudousquie, who graduated in 2014 from JHS and is a junior at Auburn University; daughter Lorrie and son-in-law Josh Gilchrist who are the proud parents of two grandchildren Issac, four and Abby, two. Grandson Issac attends pre-K at Kitty Stone Elementary. Her life focuses on her family and students. When not in the classroom, you will find Morrison spending time with her children and grandchildren, and watching students in sporting events, dance, and other extracurricular events. She also enjoys traveling all over the United States.
After graduation, Morrison taught kindergarten for one year in a private school. She then taught third grade and then second grade for 12 years in the Mobile County Public School System. Morrison and family moved to Jacksonville where she taught fourth grade at Constantine Elementary School in the Anniston City School System for one year. She was hired at Kitty Stone Elementary School in the Jacksonville City School System where she taught second grade, third grade (2 years), Title I teacher (2 years), parent specialist, ELL building manager (the past 7 years), and sixth grade math teacher (3 years). This year marks her sixth year teaching 7th grade math at JHS.
“I am honored and thankful to have been chosen as the Teacher of the Year at Jacksonville High School by my colleagues,” said Morrison. “I am a representative of the dedicated faculty and staff of JHS who prepare all students for a successful life. We work together to achieve success. Jacksonville High School and the Jacksonville City Schools will forever be a part of me. Jacksonville, Alabama will always be home.”
Photos and story by Anita Kilgore.