A teacher from Dothan High School has been named among the 'Sweet 16' Finalists for Alabama Teacher of the Year at the secondary level.
Christopher Payne has been teaching art at Dothan High School since 2007. Currently, he and some of his students are putting the finishing touches on the set of the school's play. Payne has being recognized for his dedication to education as well as his leadership as the sponsor of SADD: Students Against Destructive Decisions.
The club has participated in more than 47,000 hours of service. In the classroom, Payne says it is an inspiration to see students unlock hidden artistic abilities they may not know they possess.
"It's fun for me to get out here and show the students who may never have thought of art as a career or even as a choice," Payne says. "A lot of these students come into my class saying they can't draw at all, so for me to unleash that talent in them is just awesome."
Judges narrowed down the nominees from a pool of more than 150 educators from across the state. Next, they will pick the 'Final Four' teachers.