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Celebrating teacher achievements in 2023-24

June 17, 2024 -- The success of our school system is dependent on the community making education a top priority. Surveys conducted periodically by the City of Vestavia Hills consistently reveal that our residents rank education as the top priority. For more than five decades, the commitment of our community to the school system has consistently allowed us to meet and exceed the expectation to provide excellent schools.

The heartbeat of that success in our school system is the team of exemplary teachers, support staff, and administrators. Vestavia Hills City Schools has more than 900 employees who are committed to the mission of providing every student the opportunity to learn without limits. No matter the position, every member of our team has an invaluable role in fulfilling that mission.

We all can remember teachers that left an indelible influence on us. Each year, we have the privilege of honoring the best of the best in our schools.  Earlier this year, we recognized our nine teachers of the year: Erika Ponder at VHECH, Debbie Bowman at VHEDR, Kristen Kovarik at VHEE, Melissa McIntyre at VHELP, Jennifer Burns at VHEW, Mary Wyers at LPMS, Becca Poe at Pizitz, Kira Aaron at VHHS Freshman Campus, and Holly Robinson at VHHS. Mrs. Aaron was later named as the Alabama Alternate Teacher of the Year and Alabama Secondary Teacher of the Year. In addition, you can see the list of impressive accomplishments and recognitions of some of our wonderful teachers.

The Board of Education has traditionally developed budgets that prioritize recruiting and keeping the best teachers. To do this, our Board has endeavored to ensure that we compensate our teachers in the most deserving way while also focusing on optimal class sizes, high quality professional development, and classroom resources. As you can see in our STEM emphasis, we are also blessed to have strong classroom support from our PTOs, Foundation, and community partners. This level of commitment is the formula for another successful school year.


Twenty Years of Service

Joy Bragan, Kate Donaldson, Blair Dorman, Aimee Farrar, Ralph Gardner, Sonya Johnson, Kathie Knickrehm, Nancy Littleton, Nancy McCrary, Brigid Meadow, Evonne Mullet, Heather Palmer, Keta Peterson, Linda Swing, Brad Toland, Jenni Walton, Martha Martin, Amy Wilbanks


Teacher Awards

Deanna Bell: 2024 Music Education Exemplary Service Award from UAB

Pam Dennis, Stacie Pegouske, Dorina Smith: CALT Certification

Heather Hurt: Finalist for Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching

Haley Wright and Ann Marie Corgill: Presenting at NCTE/NCTM Conference on neuro-inclusive teaching in literacy and mathematics

Brent Brizendine: Metro South 8th Grade Football Coach of the Year

Heather Cantwell: Dr. Thomas R. Smith Award for Excellence in Choral Music from the Alabama chapter of American Choral Directors Association

Nicole Slowik: National STEM Scholar Program honoree

Chassi Wadell: Alabama ASCD Emerging Leader Award

Laura Casey: Outstanding Masters Degree Student Award from Samford University School of Education

Jamie Stephenson: Alabama Theatre Hall of Fame inductee

Kira Aaron: 2023-24 VFW Citizenship Education Award