MONTGOMERY, AL (WAFF) - Alabama has a new teacher of the year, and she’s from the Tennessee Valley.
On Wednesday night, the Alabama Department of Education honored Carol Behel, who teaches at Weeden Elementary School in Florence.
In the classroom, she works to engage students with challenging activities she creates on her own.
She also thinks all students deserve equal education and strong teachers.
“If they saw something in me, it would be that I’m passionate about what I do, that I love my students, that I put them first in everything that we do, so this is for them,” said Behel.
Behel says this recognition is a moment she will never forget.
“This is a great honor for me personally and even more for my school and for my students that I teach,” she said.
Behel, a first-generation college graduate, is a native of Guatemala and speaks fluent Spanish. She teaches English to her students who speak Spanish at home.
Her goal is to is to make learning an enjoyable experience that allows students a safe place to grow, learn, and become leaders.
Behel’s teaching career spans 19 years. She says teachers pour their hearts into the work of educating children every day. The job isn’t easy, but teachers are doing what they love.
On top of her new prestigious title, Behel was also presented the keys to a 2019 Chevy Traverse from Alfa Insurance and Alabama Farmers Federation. Alfa covers one year of use of the sport utility vehicle and the federation covers insurance.