Published on August 18, 2014 by Hannah Henderson  
Mandy Stanley

Samford University education graduate Mandy Jayne Stanley of Leighton, Ala., has been named the 2014 National Student Teacher of the Year by the Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education and the Association of Teacher Education. This is the first time the award has been granted to an Alabama student and includes a $1,200 cash prize and national recognition.  

The award honors development of classroom management skills, instructional strategies that support the needs of all students, effective interpersonal relationships with students, parents, faculty and staff and academic accomplishments.  

Samford curriculum and instruction department chair Betsy Rogers said Stanley’s passion about working with children is evident. “Mandy Jayne is a natural in the classroom with intuitive qualities we wish we could teach,” Rogers said. “She is an example of the brightest and best we need in the teaching profession.” 

Stanley said she was honored to have her hard work and dedication acknowledged and cited her professors for their role in this award. “Every day they modeled what it means to be a dedicated, determined, and data-driven educator who strives to develop relevant and rigorous lessons while building relationships with their students,” she said.  

Stanley teaches fourth grade at Charles A. Brown Elementary School in the Birmingham City School System and said her future plans include becoming a master teacher and an education research analyst.  

“I want to aid in America’s fight to better education for all of our children, especially the forgotten ones.”

Stanley received her bachelor of science in education degree from Samford in May.


Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.