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A wall of memories

B.B. Comer teacher has more than 500 Daily Home articles about students, school on display in classroom (with photos)

SYLACAUGA -- During the last 14 years, B.B. Comer High business education teacher Jason Howell has shown the love he has for his students and school by adorning his classroom walls with more than 500 Daily Home articles covering the Comer community.

Howell began teaching at B.B. Comer in the 2005-06 school year, but he said the first article he saved was from Sept. 27, 2007, and was about former student-athlete Chris Daugherty.

“I remember cutting it out and laminating it for him, and thought, ‘Why don’t I start saving these myself and put them on the walls of the classroom for the students to see,’” Howell said.

Howell added the articles have been a hit with students over the years.

“They all tell me they want to make it on the wall,” he said. “Just recently, I had a student get on who has been trying to since the ninth grade. It has motivated them in a way to take pride in what they do.”

Howell noted B.B. Comer teachers Michael Hale and Jasmine Ford are on the wall from when they were students at the school.

“It’s really come full circle,” Howell said.

The business education teacher added he has been in the same classroom since his first day on the job.

“B.B. Comer was the first school to offer me a job after graduating from Auburn, and it is close to both my wife’s family and mine,” he said. “The community and school have been wonderful to work with.”

Howell teaches three business courses at Comer, including career preparedness, business tech application and multimedia design.

“It’s great because I get to teach freshmen through seniors,” Howell said. “I’ve really enjoyed it because I get to see them grow up and get to know them.”

Howell added he has always been a lover of newspapers.

“I grew up Samson, Alabama, which is a small town of about 1,800 people,” he said. “I remember getting excited to read our local paper each day as a kid. It still makes me smile when I see it on my front lawn in the mornings.”

Howell also expressed the importance of community journalism.

“Local newspapers are important because they help you keep up with everything that’s going on in the community,” he said. “My family and I live in Pell City, so we use The Daily Home to get our news because it covers work and home for us. It’s a way to stay in the know, to get involved and just learn more about where you live.”

Last month, the Talladega County Board of Education approved Howell’s transfer from B.B. Comer to Drew Middle School in Lincoln. He will start his new position, which will allow him to work in closer proximity to family, this fall.

“It’s bittersweet, and I’m definitely going to miss it here,” Howell said.

When asked what he will do with the more than 500 articles, Howell answered, “I’m thinking about starting a memory box or scrapbook of some kind. It will be something I can look back on and a way for me to remember my time here.”