HANCEVILLE, Ala. — Marcie Hill of Double Springs likes taking on new challenges. As an 18-year veteran of the education system, Hill has taught first grade, sixth grade and served as a reading coach to students and teachers in Kindergarten through sixth grade.
Now Hill is taking those years of experience and using them to teach future educators and caregivers of youngsters as the new director of the Wallace State Community College Child Development program. The Spring semester was Hill’s first semester in her new job, and she’s already made some changes and has plans for more as she works to grow the program.
Hill is a Winston County native, born in Haleyville and raised in Double Springs. When she and her husband Darrin married, they moved to Addison. They have three children ranging in age 25 to 3 years old.
Being a teacher is something Hill said she always wanted to do, even when she was a little girl. Her mom often told her how as a youngster, she would take her younger brother into her room and have him join a class of stuffed animals and dolls so that she could teach them lessons on a Sears chalkboard she had. “I still have that chalkboard,” she said.
When she graduated from Winston County High School, Hill went to Northwest Community College before transferring to Athens State, where she earned her bachelor degree in Elementary Education. The first seven years of her career were spent teaching first grade at Addison Elementary School. During that time, she went on to earn her master degree in Elementary Education and felt she needed a change. When a position opened up to teach sixth grade at Addison, Hill took the job that had her teaching students she taught in first grade.
“That was great,” she said. “I already knew the parents and they knew me. I had drawings and notes from those students that I would take out some time and show them.”
Hill spent nine years teaching sixth grade, and during the end of those nine years she was given the opportunity through a scholarship to begin working on her EDS in Elementary Education and doctoral degree in Early Childhood Education. While working on those, she was also working on her National Board Certification, a lengthy and time-consuming process that concludes with the shipping of “the box” full of reports, papers, videos and other documentation.
Her excellent time-management skills paid off in the process of working on both her certification and doctorate while raising the first two of her three children and working full time. “We had a spare bedroom and one side was set aside for National Board and another for my PhD,” Hill said.
Within days of sending off “the box” Hill found out she was pregnant with her third child. She also made another shift in her career by taking on the job of a reading coach at Addison.
When the job for director of Wallace State’s Child Development program came up due to the retirement of Dee-Retha Preuitt, Hill said a few friends suggested she should apply. She didn’t give it much thought at first, but after some consideration she decided to give it a shot. After her final interview, she put the rest in God’s hands and left it up to him. “I got the call a couple of days later,” Hill said of the job offer.
Since taking over, Hill has started working on a multi-phase plan to grow the program, update the curriculum and provide students and community members with a viable source for child development education. Part of those plans includes offering hybrid class options now and eventually transitioning to all online classes. Having the option of hybrid classes that require only one to two on-campus meetings a month is very beneficial to students who have home or work obligations. Transitioning to completely online classes will be even more beneficial, Hill said.
Hill can also see how the program can help parents or future parents who want to take classes to learn what to expect for their own child’s development and growth or for parents who want to learn how to help their children learn.
Hill knows the next few years may be a challenge for her as she revamps the program, but it’s something she’s looking forward to and is willing to put forth the effort to see it through.
The Wallace State Child Development program offers both a short-term certificate and an associate in applied science degree. The short-term certificate is a two-semester program and is suitable for persons interested in working in a private day care setting. The associate in applied science degree is suitable for persons interested in working in Head Start programs or for those transferring to four-institutions to work on their bachelor degree in Early Childhood Education.
For more information about the Child Development program, contact Marcie Hill at 256.352.8383 or visit www.wallacestate.edu/Programs/Health_Division/Child_Development.
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