Schools in District 6: Floyd Middle Magnet, Jeff Davis High, Crump Elementary, Carver Elementary, Carver High, Davis Elementary, Johnson Elementary, MacMillan International Academy at McKee, McKee Middle, Floyd Elementary, Bear Exploration
Robert Porterfield has been unknowingly preparing for his role as the district six representative of the Montgomery County School Board member for decades. This educator and lifelong learner's decision to join the board began with a simple conversation with friends. "We were talking about the open seat in my district. Someone said, ‘Robert, you could do a great job as a board member.' I replied, yes, I believe I could. The next morning the phone began ringing almost non-stop with people telling me how wonderful it was that I was going to run."
The school board seems like a natural step for Porterfield. The Montgomery native and Carver High School alum holds a bachelor's in chemistry and a master's in mathematics from Alabama State University. His love of science led him to research opportunities in oceanographic studies at the University of Southern Mississippi, aerospace studies at the University of North Alabama, a brief stint as a chemist for Koppers Industries, and ultimately to the classroom. Mr. Porterfield served 33 years as a math and science teacher in Montgomery Public Schools and also drove a bus route for the district.
He and his wife Debra have been married for more than three decades and have reared four children. He is a member of the deacon, trustee and usher boards at New Providence Missionary Baptist Church, a member of the benevolent committee, and the chairperson of his neighborhood block campaign. He also volunteers with the adult tutoring program through Trenholm State Technical College.
As a member of the Montgomery County Community Corrections Board, Mr. Porterfield has seen what happens when children fall through the cracks. "Many children are unprepared for life. Every child can learn. However, we must provide programs that tap into the interest of children. When we do, they are motivated to achieve," he said. "Children must be able to see what the result of all their work will be. Every child is different. We have to find a way to reach children and they will learn."
Mr. Porterfield believes every employee, from custodians to the superintendent, has an impact on children. He also believes schools should focus on meaningful parental involvement. "That doesn't mean going to the football game. Parents must go to schools and be involved in the process. That will have a profound effect on achievement, discipline and reducing the dropout rate."