Editor’s note: The following is part of an Emerging Leaders series to feature the accomplishments of one seventh or eighth grade student from each middle school in Walker County.
Being a teacher is in Annalee Aldridge's blood.
The well-rounded eighth grade Lupton Jr. High School student has proven her academic skills as a member of the Beta Club and is involved in many sports.
"I like to play outside a lot, and I like to hang out with my friends, work hard in school, and just be around my family," Aldridge said.
She plays softball, basketball and volleyball. She admits basketball isn't her favorite sport, but credits her coaches for helping her advance her skills.
Aldridge has played volleyball since she was 9 years old, and one of her goals is to get a volleyball scholarship to the University of Alabama when she graduates high school.
"I've grown from the past years, and I really like volleyball and want to go far in it," she said.
Aldridge is very accomplished in softball and was even named All State for softball. She was also honored as MVP of her summer softball team.
She started pitching last year.
"I have struck out almost 50, 70 people this year," she said. "That's a really big accomplishment to me."
Aldridge observed her 15-year-old sister play sports over the years, which gave her the confidence to do the same.
"I always watched her, and she's always been a good role model to me," Aldridge said.
She speaks very confidently about her future and love for children, which has inspired her to be a teacher. Aldridge said she already feels like she's an educator, and she's committed to being a confidant and role model to her peers.
Her hope is to one day return to Lupton as a next generation teacher.
She mentors younger teammates on her volleyball team and works with children in first grade at Lupton as part of her Beta Club duties. Drama Club is another activity Aldridge enjoys to work with students of all ages.
"I have lots of responsibility," she said, giving one piece of advice to youth her age who are leaders in training. "Always try your best in everything, and always try to be the person who you really are. Never try to be somebody that you're not."