Erica Rutherford, a kindergarten teacher at Cullman City Primary School has been named a finalist for the Alabama Teacher of the Year award. Ms. Rutherford is in the final top sixteen from a group of over 140 candidates. Soon, the sixteen candidates will be narrowed down to four, with the winning teacher serving as a state representative and ambassador for education during the 2017-2018 academic year.
Ms. Rutherford received her masters and educational specialist degree in elementary education from the University of Alabama. She is currently a doctoral student at the University of Alabama and is a University Fellow. Ms. Rutherford is in her 6 th year teaching kindergarten at CCPS. During her tenure at CCPS, she has implemented Daily 5 Literacy Stations, writer’s workshop and several action research studies. She hosts a variety of educators from all over the state in her classroom to share exemplary teaching practices. In addition, she also provides professional development locally and across the southeast. In March, Ms. Rutherford was the lead presenter at the Southeastern Early Childhood Conference where she presented her research on writing partnerships in the kindergarten classroom. She also shared her experiences creating and implementing standards based reporting at the Learning Forward Conference this fall.
Tricia Culpepper, CCPS Principal, wrote a letter of recommendation on behalf of Ms.Rutherford as part of the application process. “Ms. Rutherford is the epitome of the
21st century teacher in Alabama. She works to improve education in her classroom, school and across the state while providing a warm, nurturing environment for her children to thrive.”
Dr. Susan Patterson, Cullman City Schools Superintendent, reports "Our students and our system are blessed to have outstanding teachers that strive daily to provide the highest quality education. Mrs. Rutherford is an outstanding and innovative teacher, and being honored as one of 16 finalists from the original list of 140 teachers across the state is a major achievement. She is a reflection of the very best we offer daily to the students of Cullman City Schools."
The winner will be announced on May 10th at a ceremony hosted by the Alabama State Board of Education and the Alabama State Department of Education in Montgomery