Former Bentley teacher, classmates witness the inauguration

Barbara Joiner taught Governor Bentley in debate class.
Barbara Joiner taught Governor Bentley in debate class.

Posted by: Sally Pitts - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - No one paid more attention to Governor Robert Bentley's inaugural address than his former speech teacher. "Oh, I am his biggest fan," said Barbara Joiner as she waited to hear him speak Monday.

Joiner taught Bentley at Shelby County High School. She also coached him on the debate team. Classmates say Bentley was a born leader, but they never expected he'd become Governor of Alabama. "I didn't and I don't think he did," said one of Bentley's childhood friends.

Governor Bentley was the student body president his senior year of high school. Mrs. Joiner says she always knew he would go far.  "He's going to be a great governor," she said.

Bentley was also a member of the state champion 1961 debate team and graduated at the top of his class.

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