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Superintendent's Message, February 2024

Superintendent’s Message, February 2024

Dr. Todd Freeman speaking at the Vestavia Hills City Schools Hall of Fame ceremonyThe Vestavia Hills City Schools Board of Education recently recognized the newest inductees to the Educator Hall of Fame in a ceremony at the civic center: Beverly Brasell, William Clark, Jennifer Greer, Kym Prewitt, and Jim Williams. Their legacy collectively spans the more than five decades our school system has been in existence. Each one is synonymous with excellence and their influence crosses generations of families in our community.

The rich tradition of outstanding educators continues with the recognition of this year’s Teachers of the Year: Kira Aaron, Debbie Bowman, Jennifer Burns, Kristen Kovarik, Melissa McIntyre, Becca Poe, Erika Ponder, Holly Robinson, and Mary Wyers. Among this distinguished group are teachers, musicians, counselors, and a reading coach. Mrs. Aaron and Mrs. McIntyre will represent our school system in the Alabama Teacher of the Year program. 

We are blessed in our community to have teachers in our classrooms who love children, love learning, and are outstanding in their professions. They embrace every child’s ability to learn in profound ways and thrive in helping them overcome challenges that limit learning. Every student in their classroom is valued and important. That mindset is invaluable!

The school system’s primary responsibility is to support our teachers by providing them with the resources they need to do their jobs. This begins with prioritizing the needs of each classroom in our budget. A typical elementary classroom in Vestavia Hills includes children who receive academic support, behavioral intervention, assistance with chronic health conditions, and support for mental health crises. Maintaining smaller classes enable our teachers to best provide a high quality education for every child while knowing that each of them has unique needs.

Vestavia Hills City Schools also prioritizes having staff with expertise in a multitude of areas to support the mission of providing every student the opportunity to learn without limits. Academic interventionists, reading coaches, behavioral therapists, nurses, counselors, librarians, and school resource officers are some of the members of the team that support students through the challenges they face that are obstacles to learning.

Some of the most meaningful ways to support teachers is through professional learning experiences and provision of resources. Our teachers thrive on continual learning to improve their craft. The school system strives to provide them with opportunities to attend a multitude of professional learning experiences. We are also so fortunate to have the Vestavia Hills City Schools Foundation and school PTOs that partner with us in this endeavor. This year, the Foundation and PTO have continued the tradition of awarding grants to teachers that provide creative and engaging experiences for students.

Teaching is a noble profession, and we are blessed with teachers committed to providing the best experiences for our students. They are the cornerstone of success in our schools.