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Red Bay welcomes new teachers

By Brandi Miller

For the FCT

When Red Bay High School students began school Aug. 6, two new faces were among the teachers waiting to greet them. Kellie Ballard Henson and Jamie Lawler both were hired over the summer, and both said they are excited to be part of the RBHS family.

Henson, a RBHS 2013 graduate, will be teaching math – specifically algebra I, algebra IA and pre-algebra eighth and ninth grade. She continued her education after high school at the University of Mississippi, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics education.  Besides teaching math, Henson will be the National Beta Club sponsor and assistant softball coach.

“I hope to inspire children to pursue their dreams, help them find a love for math, complete lessons for the year, manage my time wisely and simply enjoy this year with my students,” said Henson. “The students and faculty have been very welcoming, and it has been a wonderful week so far.”

This is Henson’s first teaching job. She completed her student teaching at Pontotoc City High School, where she taught algebra I, algebra II and geometry for the entirety of the calendar year.

Henson said she’s always had a love for mathematics, and she wanted to be able to give back to her community by becoming a teacher. She said she wants to be that teacher students look back on and remember as one of the best teachers they had; simply making a difference in children’s lives, she added, is what being a teacher is all about.

Henson is married to Jacob Henson and is the daughter of Mack Ballard and Debbie Ballard.

Jamie Lawler also began his teaching career at RBHS but has been in the classroom for 26 years, teaching at Fayette County High School, Thomasville City Schools, Curry High School and schools in Mississippi.

Lawler will be teaching geometry and algebra I and taking on head coach duties of the RBHS baseball team.

Lawler graduated from Hamilton High School and completed his undergraduate work at Athens State University. He then completed his graduate work at the University of West Alabama.

“I want all my students to understand the importance of math like I do,” said Lawler. “I also have the goal of all students improving on their last state test scores.”

He said while he’s had 27 first days of school, so far the first few days at RBHS have been the best.

“I have started off 27 times now,” said Lawler. “This was the easiestgoing start of the past 27. Everyone has been very nice and helpful.”

Lawler is the son of Linda Sims of Hamilton.