Passion ignites Clements as successful teacher

Published 8:47 am Sunday, April 9, 2023

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By Travis Gupton

The Selma Times-Journal

When April Clements left a high-paying job in the medical field, she returned to school to follow her passion for teaching.  The big jump was a big risk and is now paying off.

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Clements is one of the Reading Coaches for the Dallas County School District and works at J.E. Terry Elementary School.  Clements is The Selma Times-Journal Educator of the week.

For the last seven years, Clements has been driven by the passion to see kids succeed in reading.

“I like to see the lightbulb go off in a student’s eyes,” Clements said. “I like to see when the students can actually go from saying letters to building words and reading fluently.”

Clements said society needs help with reading.

“The society we live in there are so many people who are illiterate and can’t read so therefore it’s very important that we as teachers lay that foundation,” Clements said. That’s my drive I want to make sure I lay that foundation.”

Clements earned her teaching degree online at Grand Canyon University and was a teacher’s aide in Bibb County. She then worked on her master’s degree at GCU in Early Childhood Education. She worked as a Reading Coach for Selma City Schools before making the jump over to J.E. Terry.

“It took a lot of ambition to go back to school with two kids and a full-time job,” Clements said. “That was huge. My husband was actually in school as well and coaching three sports full-time. It was a lot of sacrifices but in the end, I knew the end result was going to be helping students. 

Clements is married to Morgan Academy Coach Stephen Clements and they have a son TB Clements, an All-State football and baseball player at Morgan. When Clements is not working, she can be found at a Morgan Academy baseball game keeping stats. Clements’s older daughter is following in her mother’s footsteps, working in the education field. Clements never stops learning and that continues to be true to this day.

“I got accepted at the University of Alabama to join their certified academic language therapist program,” Clements said. “I was also one of the ones chosen to receive the Scottish Right Foundation Scholarship so my schooling will be 100% paid. I will start in June and will finish in June two years from now. It’s a practicum hour program. You take the CALT certification test at the end of your schooling and then you become a dyslexic therapist.”