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ACOE Spotlight

Excellence in Education

If you or someone that you know has been recognized by, or won an award from, your/their school, school system or statewide for excellence, please let ACOE know. We would love to spotlight you/them on the ACOE Spotlight. Being spotlighted for excellence is for any Alabama teacher, faculty or support staff. Please send the information to TSlone@ACOE.us


Vincent Chiaramonte, R.F. Bumpus Middle School in the Hoover City School System

Congratulations on being selected as the Alabama’s 2017 Milken Educator Award honoree. It is a great honor to have you as a member of ACOE. Thank you for all that you do to make learning exciting and fresh for your students. ACOE is proud of you.

“This recognition of Vincent Chiaramonte is a testament to his unwavering commitment to developing life-long learners,” said Interim State Superintendent Ed Richardson.


Ginger Aaron-Brush, Physical Education Teacher at Pelham Oaks Elementary in Pelham

Ginger Aaron-Brush was named Teacher of the Year at Pelham Oaks Elementary. Congratulations and thank you for being an outstanding educator and leader.


Amanda Slaughter, First Grade Teacher at Iola Roberts Elementary in Pell City

Amanda was named the Iola Roberts Teacher of the Year. Thank you from ACOE for being an awesome teacher. Congratulations on this great accomplishment.


Jennifer Fernandez, ESL Teacher at Austinville Elementary in Decatur City School System

Jennifer was selected to serve on the State Superintendent’s Teacher Cabinet. In this position, she will be a voice for teachers in her system as well as a voice for teachers from across the state. ACOE is proud to have Jennifer on this commission representing our hard working educators. We know that she will do a great job.

It is a true honor to represent Decatur City Schools on the State Superintendent’s Teacher Cabinet.  I look forward to collaborating with the other teachers, empowering others, and continuing to grow as a professional through this experience.  Jennifer Fernandez


Dana Waldrop of Oak Grove High School

Congratulations to Dana Waldrop of Oak Grove High School in the Jefferson County School System. Dana is a school counselor and she has earned her National Board re-certification as a National Board Certified Teacher in the area of School Counseling Early Childhood through Young Adults. Great job Dana!!


Jenna Justice of Geneva County Elementary

Congratulations to Jenna Justice of Geneva County Elementary in the Geneva County School system. Jenna is a Kindergarten Teacher and has earned M.S. in Early Childhood Education. Jenna was also selected as county wide Elementary School Teacher of the Year.

I was honored to receive the title of County Wide Elementary Teacher of the Year. The award came from majority vote of my fellow co-workers. I thank my peers both past and present for molding me into the teacher that I am today. (Jenna)


Allyson McCombs of Warrior Elementary

Congratulations to Allyson McCombs of Warrior Elementary in the Jefferson County School System. Allyson received the Channel 42 News “One Class at a Time” $1,000.00 check for coding robots. ACOE is proud for you Allyson.

Everyone go on their website 42 news and apply! It is very easy. (Allyson)


Michael Courson of West Smiths Station Elementary

Congratulations to Michael Courson of West Smiths Station Elementary in the Lee County School System. Michael has been selected as the West Smiths Station Elementary 2016-2017 Teacher of the Year. Michael is a Special Education teacher and ACOE is very proud of his accomplishments.

It is an honor to represent West Smiths Station Elementary School as Teacher of the Year. I am blessed to have the opportunity to work with such great administrators, teachers, and students and I’m glad I can contribute to this great school system. (Michael Courson)


Faye Haag of Smiths Station High School

Congratulations to Faye Haag of Smiths Station High School in the Lee County School System. Faye was selected as Smiths  Station High’s 2016-2017 Teacher of the Year. ACOE is proud of Faye and the many great things she has done for her students over the years.

Thanks for this recognition! I am thrilled to be recognized by my colleagues.  I don’t teach for recognition,  but it is certainly nice to get a “thumbs up” occasionally.  (Faye Haag)


Caron Riley of Pelham Oaks Elementary

Congratulations to Caron Riley of Pelham Oaks school in the Pelham City school system. Caron was selected as Pelham Oaks 2016-2017 Teacher of the Year. ACOE is proud to have Caron as a member.  


Connie Bowman of Iola Roberts Elementary

Congratulations to ACOE member Connie Bowman who was selected as K-6 2015-2016 Teacher of the Year for the Pell City School System and Iola Roberts ES Teacher of the Year. Connie was also one of the 8 Finalist for the 2016/2017 Alabama Teacher of the Year. Connie is a third and fourth grade math teacher. Congratulations Connie, we are proud of you!


Mrs. April Dean of Holly Pond Middle School

Mrs. April Dean’s Shark Tank entrepreneurship unit was featured earlier this school year on ABC 33/40 News. Mrs. Dean is a 6th Grade Reading Teacher, Library Media Specialist, and Yearbook Adviser at Holly Pond Middle School in Cullman County Schools. This was an awesome learning experience for the middle school students! Here is a link to the story from ABC 33/10: http://abc3340.com/news/local/shark-tank-class-teaches-students-entrepreneurship. Great job Mrs. Dean and students!


Stacy Curl of Chalkville Elementary

Congratulations to 3rd Grade Teacher Stacy Curl who was selected as Teacher of the Year for Chalkville ES and was a finalist for Jefferson County Elementary School Teacher of the Year. Stacy said “It is definitely an honor. I have some wonderful colleagues and mentors that have helped me along the way. I feel especially blessed that God has called me to this profession. I cannot imagine doing anything else!”


Vinny Chiaramonte of Bunpus Middle School

Congratulations to ACOE member Vinny Chiaramonte on his selection as Teacher of the Year for Bumpus Middle School in Hoover City Schools. Vinny was also selected as one of the 8 Finalist for the 2016-2017 Alabama Teacher of the Year! Congratulations Vinny, we are proud of you!


Kathryne Flippo of Bluff Park Elementary School

Congratulations to ACOE member Kathryne Flippo on her selection as Teacher of the Year for Bluff Park ES, and also for her selection as one of the 8 Finalists for Alabama Teacher of the Year representing District 3! Congratulations Kathryne, we are proud of you!


Greg Gumina

Congratulations to ACOE member Greg Gumina who was recently elected President-Elect of the Alabama Music Educators Association! Greg said “I am very excited about the opportunity to represent my colleagues in Music Education, and to help serve the needs of all our music students in Alabama, elementary through college. I also look forward to collaborating with leaders in other areas of education, both inside our state and nationwide, to the betterment of our profession and the future of our society”. Congratulations Greg, we are proud of you!


Kristy Lott of Clay Elementary School

Congratulations to ACOE member Kristy Lott who was selected as Clay Elementary School Teacher of the Year! Kristy was also a Finalist for Jefferson County Elementary School Teacher of the Year! Congratulations Kristy, we are proud of you!


Michelle Wilson of Hueytown Middle School

Congratulations to ACOE member Michelle Wilson who was selected at Hueytown Middle School Teacher of the Year. Michelle was also a finalist for Jefferson County Middle/Secondary Teacher of the Year. Michelle is the Librarian at Hueytown Middle School. Congratulations Michelle, we are proud of you!


Dr. Linda Hogue of Meadow View Elementary

Congratulations to Dr. Linda Hogue who was selected as Alabaster City Schools Teacher of the Year and Meadow View Elementary School Teacher of the Year. Congratulations Dr. Hogue, we are proud of you!


Beth House of Thompson High School

Congratulations to ACOE member Beth House who was selected as Teacher of the Year at Thompson High School, Secondary Teacher of the Year in Alabaster City Schools, and the University of Montevallo’s Outstanding Alumnus in Secondary Education! Congratulations Beth! We are proud of you!


Deborah Jones of Slocomb High School

Congratulations to Deborah Jones for being selected as Teacher of the Year for Slocomb High School in Geneva County Schools. Deborah is a Math Teacher at Slocomb HS. Congratulations Deborah! We are proud of you!


Susan Franklin of Asbury High School

Congratulations to Susan Franklin for being selected as Teacher of the Year at Asbury High School in Marshall County Schools. Susan is a Special Education Teacher at Asbury HS. Congratulations Susan! We are proud of you!


Alison Holley of Girard Middle School

Congratulations to ACOE member Alison Holley who was named the Girard Middle School Teacher of the Year for this school year. Alison is the Media Specialist for Girard MS in Dothan City Schools. Congratulations Alison! We are proud of you!


Haether Murphy of Hartselle City Schools

Congratulations to ACOE member Heather Murphy who was selected as Hartselle City Schools Elementary Teacher of the Year. Heather teaches 5th Grade Language Arts at Hartselle Intermediate School. Congratulations Heather, we are proud of you!                                                                                                   


Yashica Hammell of Brighten Elementary School

Congratulations to Yashica Hammell who was selected by her peers as the 2014 Second Mile Teacher for Brighton ES (Jefferson County Schools).


Missy Presely of Pinson Elementary School

Congratulations to Missy Presley who was selected by her peers as the 2014 Second Mile Teacher for Pinson ES (Jefferson County Schools).


Lori Franks OF North Highland Elementary School

Congratulations to Lori Franks who was selected by her peers as the 2014 Second Mile Teacher for North Highland ES (Jefferson County Schools).


Michelle Wilson of Hueytown Middle School

Congratulations to Michelle Wilson who was selected by her peers as the 2014 Second Mile Teacher for Hueytown MS (Jefferson County Schools).


Laurie Brasher of Williams Intermediate School

Congratulations to ACOE member Laurie Brasher who was inducted to JSU’s Alabama Teacher Hall of Fame as the Middle School Teacher of the Year. Laurie, who teaches at Williams Intermediate School in the Pell City School System, said “I am honored and humbled to be awarded as the newest inductee to JSU’s Alabama Teacher Hall of Fame as the Middle School Teacher of the Year. It has been a blessing and an honor to be nominated and then chosen. I am very proud of being an ACOE member.” Congratulations Laurie, we are very proud of you and happy that you are a member of ACOE!


S.Seth Jones of Gresham Elementary School (Jefferson County)

Congratulations to S.Seth Jones who was selected by his peers as the 2014 Second Mile Teacher for Gresham ES (Jefferson County Schools).


Rita Schell of Hall Kent Elementary School

Congratulations to Rita Schell for being named by President Obama in December as Alabama’s winner of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science teaching. Rita teaches at Hall Kent Elementary School in Homewood City Schools. Rita also won a $10,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. Congratulations Rita, we are proud of you!


Danielle Peterson of Greystone Elementary School

Congratulations to Danielle Peterson for being named by President Obama in December as Alabama’s winner of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics teaching! Danielle teaches at Greystone Elementary School in Hoover City Schools. Congratulations Danielle, we are proud of you!


 Sandra Bost of Etowah High School

Congratulations to Sandra Bost for selected as the Etowah High School Teacher of the Year. Sandra is the Special Education Teacher. Sandra said that one of her favorite quotes is this, “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” by William Butler Yeats. Congratulations Sandra, we are proud of you!


Taylor Ross of Gresham Elementary School

Taylor Ross was selected as the Jefferson County Elementary School Teacher of the Year, after being selected as the Gresham Elementary School Teacher of the Year. Taylor is a Membership Services Representative for ACOE. Congratulations Taylor, we are proud of you!


Taryn Brodie of Wetumpka Elementary School

Congratulations to Taryn Brodie on being selected as Elmore County Schools Teacher of the Year after being selected as Wetumpka Elementary School Teacher of the Year! Congratulations Taryn, we are proud of you! Best wishes in the Alabama Teacher of the Year competition!


Amanda Banner of Headland High School

Congratulations to Amanda Banner for being selected as the Henry County Secondary Teacher of the Year after being selected as the Headland High School Teacher of the Year. Congratulations Amanda! We are proud of you!


Stephanie Watkins of Simmons Middle School

Congratulations to Stephanie Watkins for being selected as the Simmons Middle School Teacher of the Year in Hoover City Schools. Congratulations Stephanie! We are proud of you!


Amy Clark of Austinville Elementary

Congratulations to Amy Clark of Austinville Elementary School in Decatur City Schools for being selected as the Alabama Wildlife Federation’s 2012 Conservation Educator of the Year for Alabama. Congratulations Amy! We are proud of you!


Danielle Peterson of Greystone Elementary

Congratulations to Danielle Peterson for being selected as one of Alabama’s Presidential Finalists in Mathematics in the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). Danielle teaches at Greystone ES in Hoover City Schools! Congratulations Danielle! We are proud of you!


Rita Schell of Kent Hall Elementary

Congratulations to Rita Schell for being selected as one of Alabama’s Presidential Finalists in the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). Rita teaches as Hall Kent Elementary School in Homewood City Schools. Congratulations Rita! We are proud of you!


Magan Diggers of Dauphin Jr. High School

Congratulations to Megan Driggers for being selected as the Enterprise City School Secondary Teacher of the Year after being selected as the Dauphin Junior High School Teacher of the Year! Megan said “I feel truly honored and blessed to serve my school and system in this capacity. Also, I am excited to be a first year member of ACOE. After hearing all of the fabulous benefits of being a member, it was definitely a “no-brainer” to join!” Congratulations Megan! We are proud of you!


Virginia Stephens of Smith Station Freshman Center

Congratulations to Virginia Stephens for being selected as the Smith Station Freshman Center Teacher of the Year in Lee County Schools! Virginia said “I’m extremely honored to have been selected as an outstanding teacher amongst a faculty that is brimming with talented educators”. Congratulations Virginia! We are proud of you!


Brenda Hancock of Clay Elementary School

Congratulations to ACOE member Brenda Hancock for being chosen as the Clay Elementary School Teacher of the Year and also for being chosen as the Jefferson County Elementary School Teacher of the Year. Brenda now competes with other Elementary School Teacher of the Year selected from other systems across the state. Good luck Brenda! We are proud of you!


Susan Gerhardt of Clay-Chalkville Middle School

Congratulations to ACOE member Susan Gerhardt for being chosen as the Clay-Chalkville Middle School Teacher of the Year! Susan commented that “I am truly blessed to work in a field that I love.” We are proud of you Susan!


Katie Coleman of Adamsville Elementary

Congratulations to ACOE member Katie Coleman for being chosen as the Adamsville Elementary School Teacher of the Year! We are proud of you Katie!


Alisa Creel of Pelham High School

Congratulations to ACOE member Alisa Creel for being selected as Pelham High School Teacher of the Year! Alisa commented that she was honored to have been chosen by her peers and thankful that her students, both current and former, have been so complimentary and supportive. Congratulations to Alisa also for being named by the Alabaster-Pelham Rotary Club as the Teacher of the Month!


Ginger Aaron-Brush of Valley Elementary

Congratulations to ACOE member Ginger Aaron-Brush for being selected as Valley Elementary School Teacher of the Year! Ginger was also selected as the Shelby County Elementary Teacher of the Year!


Heather Rawlinson of Iola Roberts Elementary

Congratulations to ACOE member Heather Rawlinson for being selected as Iola Roberts Elementary Teacher of the Year! Heather is a Fourth Grade teacher and also has a Media Specialist degree.


Virginia Cook of Montevallo Middle School

Congratulations to ACOE member Virginia Cook for being selected as Montevallo Middle School Teacher of the Year. Virginia was also selected as the Shelby County Middle School Teacher of the Year! Virginia said “it was so beautiful to see so many of the colleagues from different schools all together, knowing they were being recognized for one of their ‘heartbeats’. This was truly a special gift from God receiving this recognition.”


Dee Doss of Williams Intermediate School

Congratulations to Dee Doss for being selected as Teacher of the Year at Williams Intermediate School in the Pell City School system. Dee commented that “truly just to be nominated was all the recognition I need. I am honored to be considered, although my greatest rewards are the success of my students!” Congratulations Dee, we are proud of you!


Evelyn Sue Bliss of Duran South Jr. High

Congratulations to Evelyn Sue Bliss for being selected as Teacher of the Year at Duran South Jr. High School in the Pell City School system. Evelyn commented “It is an honor to be chosen by my fellow colleagues and administration.” Congratulation Evelyn, we are proud of you!


Dana Bloodsworth of Duran Jr. High School

Congratulations to Dana Bloodsworth for being selected as Duran Jr. High Teacher of the Year. Also for being selected as Pell City School System’s Junior High Teacher of the Year. Great Job Dana. We are proud of you.


Phillip James of Asbury High School

Congratulations to ACOE member Phillip James for being chosen as Asbury High School Teacher of the Year. Great job Phillip!


Lauren Kiser of Smiths Station Freshman Center

Congratulations to ACOE member Lauren Kiser for being chosen Teacher of the Year at Smiths Station Freshman Center in Lee County. We are proud of you Lauren!


Hunter Ames of Smith Station High School

Congratulations to ACOE member Hunter Ames for being chosen Teacher of the Year at Smith Station High School in Lee County. Hunter was also selected as Lee County Secondary Education Teacher of the Year. Hunter is also a member of the ACOE Board of Directors. We are proud of you Hunter!


Cheryl Smith of Iola Roberts Elementary School

Congratulations to Cheryl Smith for being selected as the Iola Roberts Elementary Teacher of the Year and the Pell City VFW Teacher of the Year. Cheryl is being considered for state-wide VFW Teacher of the Year. Great job Cheryl Smith. We are proud of you.


Tamara Peppers of Madison County Elementary

Congratulations to Tamara Peppers for being selected as the 2010-2011 Madison County Elementary Teacher of the Year. Tamara was also the 2009-2010 Alabama Social Studies Teacher of the Year and is a National Board Certified Teacher with an Ed.S. in Elementary Education. Congratulations Tamara, we are proud of you!


Sally Shackelford of Trace Crossing Elementary

Congratulations to Sally Shackelford for being selected as Trace Crossing Elementary School Teacher of the Year.


Kari Tibbs of Berry Middle School

Congratulations to Kari Tibbs for being selected Teacher of the Year from Berry Middle School in the Hoover City School system. Kari commented that as we press on with our mission of teaching the next generation we must remember just one thing, “We can’t teach our students until we reach our students” (Anonymous). Congratulations Kari, we are proud of you!


Maggie Russell of Oak Mountain Elementary

Congratulations to Maggie Russell of Oak Mountain Elementary School for being chosen as Oak Mountain Elementary Teacher of the Year. Maggie teaches 3rd Grade at OMES. Congratulations Maggie, we are proud of you!


Lyndsay Anderson of Valley Elementary

Lyndsay Anderson of Valley Elementary School was chosen as VES’ Teacher of the Year. Lyndsay said “I am truly honored to have been chosen Teacher of the Year at my school. I am blessed to work with such a wonderful and supportive staff at VES. I feel as though I have the best job in the world. It is so rewarding to know that I have made a small difference in a child’s life each year”. We are proud of you Lyndsay!


Crystal Watford of Helena Middle School

Crystal Watford of Helena Middle School was chosen as HMS’ Teacher of the Year. Regarding her selection, Crystal said “It’s a great honor to be recognized by my fellow teachers”. Congratulations Crystal, we are proud of you!


Ginger Aaron of Valley Elementary

Congratulations to Ginger Aaron of Valley E.S. in Shelby City who was recently chosen the Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year from the Alabama State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. This award is for the whole state of Alabama. Regarding her membership in ACOE, Ginger said “I am a proud to be a long time member of ACOE. I know that for ACOE, students are the primary concern. This was important to me as I studied professional teacher organizations. ACOE’s beliefs and mission are student focused and to me that made all of the difference.” Congratulations Ginger, we are proud of you and proud to have you as a member of ACOE!


Amanda Rodriguez of Valley Elementary

Congratulations to Amanda Rodriguez of Valley E.S in Shelby County! She is now a National Board Certified Teacher. Amanda commented “I had wonderful mentors and fellow teachers who helped and supported me through the process. It was challenging, but I feel that I learned a great deal about myself as a teacher and how to improve my teaching practice.” We are proud of you Amanda, and proud you are an ACOE member!


Stacy Curl of Chalkville Elementary

Congratulations to Stacy Curl for being chosen as Chalkville Elementary’s nomination for Teacher of the Year! Stacy. Stacy. who teaches 3rd Grade at Chalkville Elementary School, commented “I greatly appreciate the nomination and am thankful to my colleagues who have helped me develop my teaching practices”. Congratulations Stacy, we are proud of you and proud to have you as a member of ACOE.


Ashley Freeman of Chalkville Elementary

Congratulations to Ashley Freeman of Chalkville Elementary School. Ashley is now a National Board Certified Teacher. Congratulations Ashley, we are proud of you and proud that you are a member of ACOE!