Rachel Bailey Wins Top Teacher

Congrats to the Cedar Ridge Middle School Teacher!

DECATUR, Ala. - Thomas Paine, an English-American political activist, once said “The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph." That adage captures the heart of Mrs. Rachel Bailey, a teacher at Cedar Ridge Middle School.

While she enjoys seeing her students catch on to curriculum quickly, Mrs. Bailey says it's more fulfilling to see her students conquer their challenges.

"If things are hard, they're actually more fulfilling when you get it," said Bailey.

The Valley's Top Teacher is known as the teacher who goes above and beyond on a daily basis -- just so her students can succeed.

"She gives us extra time on tests, on work, if we don't get to finish on time - always with sports," said student-athlete, Cody Kennedy.

Athletes in particular say Mrs. Bailey is understanding. They say she spends extra time catching them up.

"I'm not surprised Mrs. Bailey won the Valley's Top Teacher because she's a really great teacher," said student-athlete, Katie Davis. "She helps you out a lot. She's very understanding."

Mrs. Bailey believes middle school years are crucial time in a young person's life, and strives to help them get on the right track.

"I truly think at this level it's a turning point," said Bailey. "If they can be successful now, they can go on and be successful."

While Mrs. Bailey sets high standards, students say she adds a nice balance of humor and fun to the mix; they say her teaching style exemplifies why she is so successful.

"She's really cool," said student, Giovanni Johnson. "She's not just straight work all the time. Sometimes she can kid around and have fun."

"She's an awesome teacher," said Kennedy. "She's always fun. She's super loud, which makes it better in class because we're always goofing around."
"There's always a time to be serious in class. She lets us know what time that is."

Mrs. Bailey says teaching is her calling, and wants students to remember how much she truly cares.

"I hope that they remember I smile a lot," said Bailey. "I hope they remember I always want what's best for them. I hope they can remember if they need something, they can always come find me."

To nominate a teacher you admire, click here.

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