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SJHS's Andrew Franck is Alabama Teacher of the Year Finalist

Eighth-grade world history and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) teacher Andrew Franck likes to teach out-side the box. He said he gets into character with storytelling, and strives to bring passion and energy into the subject matter he teaches.

He said the students at Sheffield Junior High respond well to his high energy.

“I wanted to change the stigma of history being boring, so we incorporate a lot of STEM activities in the classroom,” Franck said. “For example, we just finished studying Greece, so now we’re building catapults using our STEM training.”

His outside of the box thinking is likely a reason why Franck is one of 16 finalist for Alabama’s Teacher of the Year.  The field is comprised of eight secondary and eight elementary educators. The winner will be announced May 11 at an awards luncheon in Montgomery. The winner will spend the next school year traveling the state as an ambassador for the teaching profession.

Franck, who has been teaching for 10 years with the last five being in Sheffield, said it’s the overlap in the disciplines he teaches that make the most significant impact with children.

“Our school is STEM certified, so we really stress that in all our classes,” he said. “I may be the one who was selected for this honor, but it’s the whole team of amazing educators I work with that really makes the difference in kids’ lives.”

Franck said the essays he wrote as part of the application process for the award covered every-thing from the lessons he personifies in his teach-ing to what he perceives as problems in education in Alabama. He said his finalist status is an honor to be shared by the entire school and school district.

“We all work together every single day and this is definitely a shared award,” Franck said. “At the end of the day, I’m only as good as the people I work with.”