Sun City Educator Credits Schools, Community for Success

Not that long ago, Alex Devine was in a coma. The future Sun City Elementary first grade teacher and south Bossier native was hospitalized due to complications with COVID-19, unsure what the future held if he survived this brush with mortality. 

“I thought something good will come out of this,” Alex said defiantly. “I learned that you have to give everything you can now because you don’t know when it will be taken away. Every day is an opportunity to change someone’s life.”

While he entered the hospital in the ministry, he says a message from God telling him to finish his degree meant he left the hospital to immediately earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Jackson State University. 

His academic achievement there earned him the President’s Award and his dedication to helping students reach their full potential saw him presented the Dean’s Award.

“I always wanted to impact the next generation, but to walk in this year and have everything fall in line like it did? I don’t know how it happened,” Alex laughed. 

That “everything” he referred to is being named a Louisiana New Teacher of the Year Finalist by the Louisiana Department of Education. Even Alex isn’t sure how he earned the honor. Alex says he works to build relationships with his students and their families, maintain a positive attitude, and keep a humble spirit.

“I just come in and give my best every day. I was taught that if you see there’s a need, try to fill it. Or if you see a problem, try to fix it,” he said. “I ask my friends, ‘What is different about me?’ I’m doing the same thing as everyone else.” 

Additionally, a clear factor in Alex’s success is that he never loses sight of what is important: the kids.

“They’re the driving force,” he said. “I can’t see myself doing anything else. I want to be in the classroom working with kids and making them see what I see in them.”

As he wraps up his first year as an educator, Alex says walking the same halls he did as a child was divine intervention.

 “It felt like a ‘God thing,’” he said. “I was frustrated with my job in Mississippi and came home to visit. I decided on a whim to look for something in Bossier and found this job at Sun City. After I applied, I got an email within an hour.”

He said Bossier is one of the best places in the world when it comes to taking care of and fighting for teachers. 

“It means the world to me to be in a situation where people try and care. I see people giving maximum effort to take care of their students and each other,” he said. “Being in this school with everyone who has this mindset of doing whatever it takes for these kids has played a part in my success this year.”

It has the added benefit of allowing him to relocate back home so he can build a family and teach in the community that helped shape him into the man he is today.

“Bossier is a true community. When you live here, you gain family members. I love that and I want to be that person no matter where I’ve lived,” said Alex. “It’s the Bossier in me.”

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