Meet Eula Battle
Inspired by her first teachers, Eula Battle has devoted her life to education as an award-winning teacher, advocate and founder of an organization that supports educators and students.
Eula, wife of Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, is Executive Director of Free 2 Teach, a Huntsville-based non-profit that provides teaching material, classroom equipment and school supplies for some 89 schools, with a potential reach of 52,000 students.
Free 2 Teach has grown from a project managed from her garage when it was opened in January 2012 to an operation that distributed nearly $1 million in supplies during the 2016-17 school year from its 10,000-square foot warehouse. Free 2 Teach has been supported by the generosity of the Huntsville community that has donated previously owned equipment and materials for teachers and funds to assure students have new supplies.
A teacher for 26 years, she is an especially strong advocate for Pre-K education to provide a solid foundation for the primary and secondary levels.
Eula Battle was born in Huntsville in 1955, one of five children of Dr. Robert and Calvert Sammons, and named for her fraternal grandmother. (Her siblings are Robert, Calame and Bill Sammons and Susan Sullins.) She attended Blossomwood Elementary, Huntsville Junior High and Huntsville High, then graduated from Wesleyan College in Macon, Ga.
Among her early teachers were Doris Anne Little and Mickie Holmberg, both of whom inspired her and set her on course to become a teacher. Said Eula, “They were so kind and loving, I wanted to be like them myself.”
She taught at elementary and middle schools in Georgia for five years before returning to Huntsville, becoming a kindergarten teacher at Monrovia Elementary, where she spent 23 years. She was named Madison County Educator of the Year in 2000. She retired from teaching in 2005 after three years at Greengate School, which specializes in working with students with language-based learning difficulties. Her husband was embarking on his first term as Mayor of Huntsville “and I knew I couldn’t give the 150 percent I needed to give to teaching.”
In March 1988, she met former restaurant manager and local real estate developer Tommy Battle, who was serving on the Huntsville City Council and launching a campaign for mayor. Some of their earliest dates were spent going door-to-door on campaign visits. They were married in December of that year after Battle returned to private business. They have Drew, daughter-in-law Lauren, and grandson George.