Whether a classroom teacher, administrator, counselor, or support staff, working collectively as a team is crucial when supporting students with special needs. And there’s no denying that Annette Sikes, a special needs teacher at Churchill Academy, is passionate about working as part of a team. She shares, “Teaching gives me a purpose in this world, and I feel like I have a gift to bring out the best in each child.”
Mrs. Sikes graduated from Troy State University in 1970 with a B. S. degree in Business Education and a certification in High School to teach history, which was a minor back then. She attended AUM and received a certification in Elementary Education in 1975 and a Master’s in Reading Education from AUM in 2002.
Once she retired after 40 years in education, Mrs. Sikes was a System Reading Coach for Montgomery Public Schools. She taught several different grades throughout her career and was a Title I Coordinator before becoming a school reading coach. Mrs. Sikes was ready to return to the classroom when Churchill Academy was looking for teachers so she applied.
“I have a grandson who has special needs… he is deaf and autistic. I felt like my experience helping to raise him had prepared me to work with special needs children.” Fourteen years later, she still teaches at Churchill and loves every minute of it.
Mrs. Sikes’ goal is to meet the needs of each child in her class and help them reach their highest potential. She strives to teach and demonstrate to the children acts of kindness and to teach them to love and accept each other. Also, she works hard to keep up with forever-changing technologies so students have the opportunities and experiences afforded by all the new devices and mediums.
At 75 years young, Mrs. Sikes can’t ever imagine retiring. During her off time she enjoys spending time with family and friends and traveling, and she is always looking for a new adventure! She hopes that people who become teachers realize their responsibility to the children and how every word they say to a child can affect them for the rest of their life.
Annette Sikes was happily married for 34 years when her beloved husband passed away in 1999. She has two children, five grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.