For as long as she can remember, Amy Lester has had a heart for children.
“My goal in life was not to be a doctor or an astronaut,” she said. “I wanted to be a babysitter, and with all the money I would make as a babysitter, I would build an enormous mansion to house the hundreds of needy children I would one day adopt…clearly my heart and mind were already being prepared for the path I would take later in life.”
Lester was selected last spring, first as Comer Elementary’s Teacher of the Year, and then as Madison County’s Teacher of the Year.
She is beginning her 13th year at Comer (she spent her first year in Barrow County), where she taught art for the first eight years before obtaining her Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education and her RESA gifted endorsement, and then taking on the job of second grade teacher. This fall, she became the gifted resource teacher and also the school’s first ESOL (English Spoken as a Second Language) teacher. She said she enjoys challenging herself and was anxious to serve the Burmese children who have come from refugee camps to the Comer area with their families.
Lester was born and reared in Madison County and still makes this county her home. She and her husband, Scott, have two sons, Gavin, who is a sixth grader at Athens Christian School and Grayson, who is a fourth grader at Comer.
“Being a mother myself has given me a great perspective – I treat these babies (students) like I would want my own babies treated,” she said.
She credits her grandmother, Bonnie Kincaid, with giving her the inspiration and desire to model what she saw in her as she served first as a paraprofessional for many years at Colbert Elementary and then later as a substitute teacher there, while Lester was a student there herself. It was during this time that she says she got to see firsthand how her grandmother gave her full heart and soul to the children she taught.
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Madison County Red Raiders are all smiles in the post-game huddle following a convincing 19-6 win over Monroe Friday. Zach Mitcham/staff
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