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Teacher gets $1,000 from Ala. Power

With the $1,000 grant, students think she should buy a car for the classroom. Maybe they’ll settle for normal classroom supplies instead.

Carol Davenport Harris, a third-grade teacher at Clark Elementary, has been selected as one of the 16 recipients of the 2010 New Teacher grant, an endowment from the Alabama Power Service Organization.

“She was nominated because of her professionalism and sincere desire for her students to learn,” said Jan Hogan, assistant professor of early childhood, elementary and reading education at Auburn University in Montgomery. “She cares deeply for them.”

Hogan taught Harris during her undergraduate time at the school. “She was one of those students you didn’t want to go because she was such a positive influence.”

This positive nature is now a part of her classroom at Clark.

“She offers a gentle spirit,” said Aubrey Larkin, principal of Clark.

“I’m very please to have her as a first year teacher.”

Harris met the main requirements: have an undergraduate or masters degree from an accredited public university in Alabama, be in the top 25 percent of her graduating class, work for a K-12 public school immediately following graduation, teach in an accredited school and not be a family member of officers or directors of the Alabama Power Service Organization of Alabama Power Company. Faculty member Dr. Rhonda Morton, who was not able to attend the presentation, nominated Harris for the grant.

“The intent is to assist teachers to purchase items they might not always be provided by the school,” said Alisa Summerville, business office manager of Selma and Marion for Alabama Power.

The grant has been assisting teachers since 1995. Each of the 16 public universities in Alabama can nominate up to five recent graduates each year. One nominee from each school is then awarded the grant.

“It represents Alabama Power Service Organization’s partnership with education,” Summerville said.

“One thousand dollars is not a lot of money, but it helps.”

Harris completed her student teaching at Clark, so she was happy to accept a full-time teaching position with the school post-graduation.

“When [Larkin] called me for an interview, I was just delighted,” Harris said. “Selma is my home.”

Although she has yet to determine items to purchase, it won’t take her long to put the funds to good use.

“I’m always asking for math manipulative things and readings things,” Harris said. “I bet the classroom could make a list of the things we need.”

Alabama Power Service Organization is a group of Alabama Power employee volunteers dedicated to giving back to the Selma community.