Alabama Teacher of the Year From Montgomery

News Release from Alabama Department of Education on the Teacher of the Year announcement.

Montgomery, Ala. - And the winner is... Yung Bui-Kincer, Anatomy, Biology and Environmental Science teacher at Booker T. Washington Magnet High School in the Montgomery County School System.

Near the end of the live broadcast event, The 2009 Alabama Stars in Education Awards, State Superintendent of Education Joseph B. Morton announced the coveted title of Alabama Teacher of the Year. With the title, Bui-Kincer assumes the role of official spokesperson and representative for teachers in Alabama for the next year. The awards ceremony, which honors all of the district finalists for Teacher of the Year, is held annually in celebration of the teacher's dedication to education in Alabama Public Schools.

Shannon Finley, an elementary school teacher at Alexandria Elementary School in the Calhoun County School System (Alexandria), was named 2009-2010 Alternate State Teacher of the Year at the 2009 Alabama Stars in Education Awards.

Morton congratulated all of the contestants with plaques to commemorate the honor of being shining examples of professionalism and dedication to Alabama's most valued asset - its children. Of Bui-Kincer, Morton said, "Her life journey from Vietnam to Montgomery is one of perseverance and determination, all in the name of education and advancement."

Yung Bui-Kincer is a refugee from the Vietnam War, giving her a uniquely appreciative perspective on education. After moving to the United States when she was six years old, Kincer found a "saving grace" among the educators that helped to shape her young mind.

Bui-Kincer graduated from Auburn University Montgomery with a Bachelor's Degree in Science and a Master's Degree of Education. As a teacher at Booker T. Washington Magnet School, Bui-Kincer believes making science interesting and encouraging students to overcome adversities in their own lives are her greatest professional accomplishments.

Shannon Finley, a highly qualified teacher, who has more than 10 years of teaching experience will serve as the Alternate Teacher of the Year. Her staff development and leadership activities include presenting at in-service sessions, coordinating Alabama Math, Science, and Technology Initiative (AMSTI) training, and mentoring teachers during the National Board Certification process. She prides herself on turning around negative attitudes and celebrating success with the power of humor and enthusiasm as well as professional instruction. Finley is a second-grade teacher at Alexandria Elementary School in Alexandria, AL (Calhoun County Schools). She is a National Board Certified educator who received her Bachelor's Degree in Education at The University of Alabama and her Master's in Elementary Education from Jacksonville State University.

Morton said both Bui-Kincer and Finley truly personify the time, attention and patience of which great educators show every day in the classroom. Morton said all of the candidates have such remarkable talent and are to be congratulated on the invaluable contributions they make in the classroom and in the lives of students.

The selection process for Alabama's Teacher of the Year begins at the school system level. Each school system can nominate an elementary and secondary teacher at the district level. One elementary teacher and one secondary teacher are selected from each of the eight state Board of Education districts. A state selection committee selects four teachers from the 16 district finalists to be interviewed for the titles Alabama Teacher of the Year and Alternate Teacher of the Year.

Bui-Kincer and Finley will spend much of the 2009-2010 school year serving as ambassadors for public education and the teaching profession. Bui-Kincer automatically becomes Alabama's nominee for National Teacher of the Year.