Editor’s note: This is first installment in a series of Q&As with the teachers who have been chosen by Limestone County Schools as teachers of the year.
Name: Michelle Clingan Byrd
School: Ardmore High
Grade(s) taught: 7–12
Subjects taught: Seventh and eighth grade math, advanced seventh grade math, Algebra 1 and 2, geometry, AP Statistics and ACT Prep
• Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Math Education, University of North Alabama, 2003
• Master’s degree in Secondary Math Education, University of West Alabama, 2019
How many years have you been teaching? This is my 10th year teaching.
How many of those have been with Limestone County Schools? This is my fifth year with Limestone County Schools.
What led you to choose your career path in education? I love students and have always felt that I was called to teach them and to hopefully influence their lives for a greater purpose. I believe that we should always be training the future generations. I also love math. I’m a little bit of a math nerd, but I love to help students get over their fear of math and learn to have some fun with it.
Educators faced a lot of adversity in 2020. What is one way you grew professionally? I have definitely learned more about teaching online. From last spring when we were all sent home to now when students get quarantined, I have learned how to navigate the online classroom. I record myself teaching each day so that students are not left behind when they go home. I have made many online activities and tests that students can access from the classroom or from home.
What do you enjoy most about working for Limestone County Schools? I really enjoy the family atmosphere of Limestone County Schools. From the first day I began working here, I have felt like my fellow coworkers have welcomed me with open arms. I love how our system rallies around each other when we are having difficult times and celebrates each other’s accomplishments. I have worked with many different school systems, and this is where I found my home.
What is one thing you accomplished this year that you are proud of? Getting this award would have to be my greatest accomplishment this year. I work with some amazing educators at both Ardmore and all of Limestone County Schools. To get this award is an amazing honor. There are so many in the county that deserve this award.
Favorite book? The Bible. It is my manual for living. I lead a very busy life, and there is not much time for extra reading. (If I am reading right now, it is usually an AP Statistics lesson.) It is the book that always leads me on the correct path and brings me comfort and encouragement when I need it.
Favorite hobby outside of teaching? Outside of teaching, I love serving at my church, The Rock Family Worship Center. I also love working out. My favorites are BodyPump, Spin and Zumba. My husband and I spend most of our time running after our three children and all of their activities. I wouldn’t have any other way.