South Alumnae named Teachers of the Year
Posted on February 9, 2021 by Lance Crawford
Mobile County Public Schools recently named its 2020 Teachers of the Year and all of them have degrees from the University of South Alabama.
Those recognized are Julie Neidhardt of Hutchens Elementary School, Anna Mouton of Clark-Shaw School of Math, Science and Technology and Deborah Pippin of Citronelle High School.
“We are blessed to be able to honor these three individuals – Julie Neidhardt, Anna Mouton and Deborah Pippin - as Mobile County’s Teachers of the Year,” said Mobile County Public Schools Superintendent Chresal Threadgill. “To be nominated by your school is an incredible honor, but these educators are going even beyond that by being recognized as the best of the best in all 89 of our schools.”
Neidhardt is the county’s Elementary Teacher of the Year. After changing her major from education, she graduated from South with a degree in geology. However, the call to teach kept pulling at her and finally the two passions merged into a career of teaching science to young students.
“It is my honor to represent the amazing teachers at my school and the district, from whom I have learned so much, and my duty to represent them well, Neidhardt said.
Mouton was named the middle school teacher of the year. She received her alternative master’s in education from South. A 19-year veteran educator, Mouton taught third and fourth grades and served as a computer lab instructor before becoming the library media specialist at Clark-Shaw School of Math, Science and Technology in 2006.
“I find a great deal of satisfaction in everyday encounters with parents, students, and teachers when I have helped in some way,” Mouton said.
Pippin is a 15-year veteran English teacher at Citronelle High School, arriving right after graduating with her degree in education from South. She also worked as a member of her school’s Digital Literacy Team which proved valuable when schools transitioned to remote learning in the spring of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
But as prepared as she might have been for online learning, Pippen was completely caught off-guard upon finding out she had won this award.
“I felt a myriad of emotions. Surprised, overwhelmed, honored and proud, she said. “When a group of people and cameras came into my room and Mr. [Randy] Campbell told me that I had been selected, I was so overcome by emotions that I couldn’t hold back the tears of happiness.”
The common thread between these three outstanding educators is simply, the love of teaching.
“After 23 years of teaching, I still feel as if it’s the first day when I go to work each morning,” Neidhardt explained. “Teaching is hard work, but as the saying goes, choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”