COE Seniors Honored by Dean & Alabama Teacher of the Year!

News Date
Teacher of Year COE grad luncheon May 2022.jpg
Alabama's Teacher of the Year, Kimberly Christian Johnson (L) and ASU's Dean of Education, Dr. Nicole Yvette Strange-Martin (photo credit/David Campbell/ASU).


 Alabama's Teacher of the Year Addresses Upcoming ASU College of Education Graduates and their Families! 

By Kenneth Mullinax/ASU

The dean of Alabama State University's College of Education (COE), Dr. Nicole Yvette Strange-Martin, hosted a special graduation luncheon in honor of the COE's spring 2022 graduates and their families on May 3. The event’s keynote speaker, Alabama's 2021-2022 Teacher of the Year, Kimberly Christian Johnson, shared her experiences with an emphasis on “how to be the best teacher possible.” 

Johnson, an Auburn middle school teacher who was named Alabama’s Teacher of the Year in August 2021, spoke to ASU's education seniors in the University's Ralph D. Abernathy College of Education's Great Hall of Teachers.


She shared with ASU's future teachers her philosophy on helping uplift students to their maximum positive potential and reflected on the COVID crisis that has so impacted education. 

“So many kids come to school and they don’t realize their full potential; it’s up to some of us to teach them that,” Johnson said. “There are so many kids that have so many things they come to school with. We have to be hopeful, we have to model, we have to be their cheerleaders, and it’s important that we see every student,” she said.

“It’s been a hard year, a very hard year. It’s been difficult; but we're here,” Johnson said.

ASU's COE Dean explained that Johnson is an interventionist and study skills teacher at Auburn Junior High School. The alternate Alabama Teacher of the Year, Allie Phelps, a teacher at Shades-Cahaba Elementary School in Homewood, was also present. 

Dr. Strange-Martin noted that Alabama’s Teacher of the Year serves as a full-time ambassador for education and the teaching profession. Because of her role and experience, Strange-Martin thought she would be a perfect keynote speaker to ASU's seniors who graduate on May 6. 


"This event marked a two-time first for ASU's College of Ed in that it was the first time Alabama's Teacher of the Year has been on campus, and it is the first time in recent years that we celebrated the teaching excellence and the hopes of the future for our graduating seniors with a celebratory luncheon," Strange-Martin said. 

"We will continue to have this event as long as I am the education dean because it was nothing less than phenomenal, breathtaking, and insightful; and it gave our ASU students a positive glimpse into the lifestyle of teaching and honored them on the cusp of their professional birth." 

News media contact: Kenneth Mullinax, 334-229-4104.