Two Hoover teachers up for state Teacher of the Year

Published 9:17 pm Thursday, April 5, 2012

By AMY JONES / Associate Editor

HOOVER — Two teachers from Hoover City Schools are still in the running for Alabama Teacher of the Year after the state released its list of 16 finalists.

Mandy Fox, a gifted education teacher from Greystone Elementary School, and Suzanne Culbreth, a geometry teacher from Spain Park High School, are finalists.

Each school system across the state had the opportunity to nominate an elementary teacher and a secondary teacher for the award.

Fox said she was honored by her nomination and by her place as a finalist.

Mandy Fox.

“There’s so many great teachers in this district,” she said “I don’t take it lightly.”

Fox said she works to surpass expectations by urging students to make connections between what they learn in the classroom and the real world.

“I ask, ‘Now that you know this information, what can you do with it that can change the world?’” she said.

Fox said it made sense that two Hoover teachers were named finalists, as the Hoover system is the best one she’s experienced in her 15 years as a teacher.

“They are an amazing group of educators willing to do anything to make a difference in a student’s life,” said Fox, who has worked in the Hoover system since 2003. “I think that’s why you see so many teachers honored. They’re giving all of their hearts to their jobs.”

Culbreth agreed, saying the school system provides teachers with needed resources.

“That’s one thing I love about Hoover City Schools, is the emphasis on students and learning,” she said. “It is where teachers want to come to teach.”

Suzanne Culbreth.

Culbreth, who has been at Spain Park High School for four years, said she works to give students different avenues of learning, including technology.

“We do online study sessions before a test,” she said. “One thing that is very important is working towards meeting students’ learning styles.”

The list of 16 finalists will be whittled down to a final four, which will be announced later this month. The Teacher of the Year will be announced during a live broadcast show on Alabama Public Television May 9 at 7 p.m.