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Laura Whitney Howorth thought she’d remain in Tuscaloosa after earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Alabama in 2009.

“I always thought that I would stay in Tuscaloosa after graduating and teach in a college town and how a big city would be great,” said Howorth. “The Lord had other plans and over the years I grow even more thankful he brought me back.”

Howorth is entering her tenth year of teaching at Selma City Schools since returning home to Selma. She taught for three years at R.B. Hudson Middle School before her current role as Special Education Teacher at Meadowview Elementary and Selma City Schools’ Autism Specialist.

As a special education teacher, Howorth collaborates with teachers and parents to ensure that each student receives the services that they need to succeed.

Howorth has always known that she wanted to teach.

“I was lining up my stuffed animals and dolls at a young age “teaching” them in my pretend classroom,” she said.

When she was a 9th grader at Morgan academy, Howorth volunteered at Easterseals and soon realized special education was her calling.

“I think it took less than a week for me to come home and tell my parents that special education was what I wanted to do,” she said. “All students have a different set of abilities that are unique to only them and in special education, it is so rewarding to get to be the person that helps each student realize just what those abilities are.”

Howorth feels teaching is her mission field. Though the numerous responsibilities of her job can sometimes be exhausting, she feels the rewards greatly outweigh the negatives.

“I love children and watching them learn. The excitement of a child catching on to a new skill for the first time never gets old,” she said. “There are always high fives, hugs and good mornings when I enter the school each morning.”

Howorth also finds time to serve in several community programs here in Selma.

She has served on the Distinguished Young Woman of Dallas County Committee for the past five years.

“Being a part of this program allows me to work with upcoming junior and senior high school girls from all over Dallas County,” said Howorth. “It is truly a blessing to see the amazing young women that we have here in our county.”

Howorth also serves as a member of the Selma Charity League, plays a role Selma City Schools special Olympics and finds time to help coach her oldest daughters T-ball team.

Howorth, and her husband, Stephen, have two daughters, Elizabeth Graham (4 ) and Anne Bennett (3).

“There is never a dull moment at our house with two girls that close in age,” she said. “Being a mom and a teacher means there is a constant unknown. You just never know what may come up during the course of a day.”

Most of Haworth’s immediate family members also live here in Selma.

“It is such a blessing to have so many people surround us and love on our girls,” she said.