One was from a spokesperson for Green Mountain Naturals informing her that she had been selected as America’s Most Inspirational Teacher in the company’s Apple for a Teacher contest. Bankhead Middle School, where King works as a special education teacher, will be receiving a $10,000 grant on her behalf.
The other call was from a relative of a former student sharing the good news that the young woman had gotten a job and is now seeking an apartment of her own.
Both calls were made possible by a 30-year career in which King has shared the gift of language with students.
“I have always felt that if I could be in this classroom enriching them with language that it would make a difference in their lives,” King said. “I want them to have a vocabulary so that they can go out into the world and be successful and productive.”
King was nominated for the Apple for a Teacher contest by Betty Hoffman. By the time she was made aware of what her friend had done, King had already been chosen as a top five finalist out of the hundreds of names that were submitted.
Votes were accepted on the contest’s Facebook page Monday through Saturday of last week.
The winning essay about King was titled “Special Special Ed Teacher” and listed contributions King has made to her school, church and community.
King is the youth leader at Long Memorial United Methodist Church, which was destroyed in the April 27, 2011 tornado outbreak.
King said that while the $10,000 is certainly appreciated, the contest also provided a much-needed cause for celebration.
“Our kids have had so much tragedy in the past couple of years. It’s nice to have something positive like this to share with them,” she said.