HCS Teacher of the Year: Ms. Josie Craig
Josie Craig, a third-grade teacher at Jones Valley Elementary School, has been selected as the Huntsville City Schools Teacher of the Year for 2020. Upon learning of her selection, Ms. Craig said that she felt “overwhelmed, in shock… but so happy,” and added that, “it means so much to me to represent Huntsville City Schools.”
A product of Huntsville City Schools herself, Ms. Craig has been teaching in the school district for twenty-three years. She says the most important thing she does as a teacher is build relationships with the students. She tries to find out what they love and enjoy and incorporate it into her lessons. Ms. Craig says, “I treat them like they’re my own children.”
“What Ms. Craig brings to education as a teacher,” says Jones Valley Principal Becky Balentine, “that’s the teacher who I wanted to be. Humility, honesty, character, integrity - all of those define Ms. Craig.”
A big believer in classroom music, Ms. Craig’s class does lots of singing with interactive tools such as Flocabulary. She says she’s always on the lookout for new ideas and isn’t above stealing something effective that she sees employed elsewhere. She also has a vast library in her classroom and says that reading is incredibly important, and she wants her students to develop a love for it.
Teachers are first selected as a school Teacher of the Year by other educators in the building before a detailed application is submitted at the district level. Having been selected for the entire district, Ms. Craig’s application is now eligible to be submitted to the state as an Alabama Teacher of the Year candidate.