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Iola Roberts first grade teacher Whitney Lenoir (right) receives the Kiwanis Teacher of the Month award. Pictured (l-r) Iola Roberts Principal Patrick Dowell, Kiwanis member Dana Jacks, and Whitney Lenoir. Photo by U. Glidewell

Pell City Kiwanis Club honored Iola Roberts Elementary School first grade teacher Whitney Lenoir as their November teacher each month at their meeting on Thursday.

“It’s not that she just teaches children,” said Iola Roberts Principal Patrick Dowell, “she builds relationships with children.”

Dowell further described her as a “remarkable educator who is never hesitant to help anyone.”

Lenoir is not only the Kiwanis Teacher of the Month for November, she was also named the Iola Roberts Teacher of the Year.

Lenoir graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a degree in elementary education and has been a first grade teacher at Iola Roberts Elementary School in Pell City for six years.

“I love being there!” said Lenoir. “Being at a smaller school is great.”

Lenoir went on to praise their new principal Patrick Dowell, who has been at Iola Roberts for six months.

“He has been such a blessing,” Lenoir said. “He is a wonderful, fearless leader and his support is amazing.”

Part of that support was to upgrade the technology in the classrooms, replacing previous technology that was frequently broken and expensive to repair. Every classroom in the school will have a 65 inch View Sonic touchscreen that can be used by teachers and students for interactive learning.

“It is a sign of an amazing teacher, building long-lasting relationships,” Dowell said. “Children are engaged, excited, and have fun, although it takes a lot of hours of preparation.”

One way the teachers keep the students engaged is to have flexible seating in the classrooms, with tables, couches, or beanbag chairs.

“The kids can feel like that are at home,” Dowell said. “That comfort level adds to their ability to learn and creates a calm atmosphere.”

Pell City Kiwanis Club presented a certificate and a check for $100 to Lenoir to be used in her classroom.

Kiwanis Club members are seeking volunteers for Salvation Army bell-ringing from Friday, Nov. 29 through Christmas Eve. All money raised goes to the Salvation Army. Members will also be helping to assemble and donate bicycles to local children in need, with donations from Martin’s Family Clothing and Metro Bank.

For more information on Pell City Kiwanis Club, contact Dana Jacks at

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