Mary-Beth Layfield has taught in Butler County for 25 years. She feels teaching kindergartners at W.O. Parmer Elementary is similar to construction. Layfield says, "kindergarten is the foundation for their educational career. And without kindergarten it's like building a house. If you don't build a foundation then your house doesn't stay very sturdy."
For one recent lesson she used candy. It was a sweet way of laying the building blocks for concepts in math. Layfield keeps students enthusiastic about education. Principal Carole Teague says, "she makes learning fun. She has wonderful activities to instill a love for learning with them and give them opportunities to play and learn at the same time."
Layfield is fluent in Spanish and makes numerous mission trips to work with children in South America. She also uses her bi-lingual skills to help her community. "When they need me, I've been to the hospital in the middle of the night. I've been to the jail to translate. I've been called by the bank a couple of times," Layfield says.
She is Butler County's elementary teacher of the year for 2003-2004. Before teaching in Alabama she worked at a college in Colombia, South America.