Pastor honored as Shelby County High School Teacher of the Year

Pastor honored as Shelby County High School Teacher of the Year

Christina Morris

Tenth grade history teacher Lee Pastor explains an assignment to her class.

Christina Morris, News Writer

Shelby County’s best elementary, middle, and high school teachers were honored at the Teacher of the Year reception, held Monday, Dec. 2 at Oak Mountain High School. The reception was sponsored by the Greater Shelby County Education Foundation.
Shelby County’s 34 local school “Teacher of the Year” recipients were all recognized. From those 34 candidates, winners were named from the three grade level categories of elementary, middle and high.
The three “Teacher of the Year” winners were Scott Byrne, a third grade teacher from Wilsonville Elementary; Jodie Ferguson, a seventh grade math teacher from Oak Mountain Middle School; and Lee Pastor, a 10th grade history, psychology and sociology teacher from Montevallo High School.
Pastor was honored as the high school winner after teaching for only one year. She has immediately gotten involved at the school, serving as the sponsor for both Student Government and the Anime Club, and works as the assistant volleyball coach. She serves on the 10th grade Intervention Committee, helped plan the school’s Homecoming week, and worked alongside SGA to coordinate the school’s annual Career Conference.
“When I turned 37, I finally figured out what I wanted to do when I grew up,” Pastor said. “More importantly, I discovered who I really was: a teacher.”
Pastor was looking to re-enter the workforce after staying home when her children were small. After her last child entered kindergarten, she had an epiphany when she discovered how many of her personal interests and hobbies revolved around teaching in some capacity, including her church work and as a Girl Scout leader.
“So, I chose this career deliberately, because I felt it was what I was created to do with my life,” she said. “I poured myself into my graduate course work because I wanted to learn everything I could to become an effective, life-changing teacher like the special ones I still remember to this day. I want to be that teacher to my students. I want them to be inspired to be responsible citizens with an appreciation of our past and a sound understanding of our country’s past.”