Teacher of the Week: Hudson teacher inspired by school principal

Published 5:48 pm Saturday, February 25, 2017

Marcus West, like many teachers, isn’t the first one in his family to choose that career path. West’s grandmother and grandfather were both teachers while he was growing up and made an impact on him, but it was really his 12th grade social studies teacher who inspired him to be at the front of a classroom.

“My 12th grade social studies teacher, principal Anthony Sanders, was the one that inspired me to become a social studies teacher,” West said. “Going into the 12th grade, I didn’t know that I wanted to become a teacher, but I was always good at social studies and English, and coach Sanders was able to reach me deeply. I really feel like he genuinely cared about my education.”

West, who graduated from Selma High School and later from Alabama State University, is now the social studies teacher at R. B. Hudson Middle School, the same middle school that he walked the halls of years before.

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West started out his teaching career in Prattville but decided that the best place for him was home.

“Being back home has been one of the best decisions that I’ve made in my life. I did enjoy teaching in Prattville, but I feel so deeply rooted and connected to Selma and I know that Selma needed my help,” West said. “I always felt like I was obligated to come back and give back and make an impact and to generate positive results.”

West is doing his part to give back by not only being a teacher, but by starting a mentoring program at the middle school, called Bulldog Brotherhood. The mentoring group is focused around middle school boys and teaching them responsibility and accountability.

“We spend time with them on the weekend, we do community service, we teach them how to tie ties, how to be gentlemen, help tutor them, whatever we can implement to prepare them to become productive citizens as young men,” West said. “I like mentoring. I learn a lot from my kids. It’s not just about what I can teach them. I just enjoy helping others and I enjoy watching them succeed.”

West also helped out with the baseball and football programs at the school, just anything to give back and stay involved. But ultimately, his goal is just for his students to succeed.

“My goal is to have everyone who has come through my classroom to go to college and graduate or to get into a good paying career and provide for a family,” West said. “I want them to be successful.”