Gay James is GSES Teacher of the Year
Congratulations to Mrs. Gay James, the Gulf Shores Elementary School Teacher of the Year for 2017-18. Mrs. James was chosen by the GSES faculty to receive this well-deserved honor. James was born in Waycross, Georgia. While growing up she took piano lessons and participated in choir at her church. Later she accompanied the children’s choir on the piano. Her high school choral director was Mary Swindle who is from Foley.
Later Gay when to Troy State University and graduated with a Bachelor of Music education. Her first job was in the little town of Dearing, Georgia close to Augusta. Later she left teaching and became a legal secretary, moving to Foley, Alabama in 1986 where she was a legal secretary until 1997.
At that time, she returned to teaching with Baldwin County as an itinerant elementary music teacher. She also obtained her Master’s degree in Elementary Education from University of South Alabama. While she has taught in many schools throughout the county, Gulf Shores was one in which she has always taught, even teaching 3rd grade for five years during her 21 years here.
Mrs. James lives in Foley with her husband, George, and son, Ben, and granddaughter, Ellana. She is a member of First Presbyterian Church of Foley, and also served as pianist and organist for the church for 22 years. She has accompanied and participated in many productions at the South Baldwin Community Theatre and was a charter member of the Coastal Chorale. She is also the Site Manager for the after school care program at Gulf Shores Elementary, which was just awarded its second 21st Century Learning Center federal grant for the next three years. Mrs. James leads a musical every year and also teaches class piano.
The favorite thing about teaching music is to listen to the sound of beautiful children’s voices. Mrs. James leads a group of 4th and 5th graders known as Dolphin Sound. This group sings, plays recorders, boomwhackers, steel drums, bells, Orff instruments, and recently began presenting a musical each spring. Last year’s The Jungle Book KIDS was a huge hit!