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Heritage colleagues select Higgins as ‘Teacher of the Year’

MADISON – Savannah Higgins accepts students for whom they are and meets them where they are. Higgins is “Teacher of the Year” at Heritage Elementary School.

“I’ve worked at Heritage since January 2015. I started work in the front office and then started my first year of teaching as a kindergarten teacher in August 2015,” Higgins said.

She has taught kindergarteners for six years. “Pre-COVID, I co-sponsored the Student Lighthouse Team,” Higgins said.

Her classroom philosophy is “to love children exactly as they are in that moment and don’t expect them to be any different. I want all of my students to be 100 percent authentically themselves in my classroom, and I want them to love themselves.”

Higgins believes her first job is “to love these kids before it is to teach them. The academics will come when they know they’re accepted and belong.”

During ‘the year of COVID-19,’ Higgins’ major success was seeing her kindergarten students love to come to school and still learn. “We weren’t allowed to share materials or sit in a circle due to social distancing. Kindergarten was not the same this year,” she said.

“As somebody who likes to have fun with her students, I had to come up with new ways to keep them engaged. We played a lot of team games and sang and danced a lot more than we normally do,” Higgins said.

She was born and raised in Monrovia. Majoring in elementary education, Higgins received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama in Huntsville and a master’s degree from the University of West Alabama.

Her husband Paul Higgins works as a small-business sales representative.

“Before I was a teacher, I worked as a children’s storyteller at Vestavia Hills Public Library,” Savannah said. Her hobbies are painting, sewing, hiking and reading.

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