Excellence in the classroom

Published 4:56 pm Friday, October 12, 2012

By CONNIE NOLEN / Community Columnist

“I was driving to Andalusia to visit my family when the text came, so my daughter read it to me,” said PHS math teacher Alisa Creel.

Alisa Creel is the Pelham High School Teacher of the Year. (Contributed)

PHS Math Department Chairperson Keri Ross’s text to the math teachers read, “Congrats to the new PHS TOY Alisa Creel. Go Math!”

“I was stunned,” said Creel. “Twice before, I had been in run-off races for Pelham High School’s Teacher of the Year, and I lost both times to great teachers.

“To discover that I had won outright provided great relief because I wouldn’t have to face the stress of another run-off-then I got a sinking feeling in my stomach. Could I measure up to teacher of the year?”

According to Creel’s students, this motivating teacher excels because she brings laughter into her classroom.

“Mrs. Creel cracks jokes and makes class fun,” senior Drew Hooper said.

“Mrs. Creel has the unique ability to take very complicated math problems and make them seem like ‘common sense’ to her students,” Ross said. “Her students know that she cares about them as human beings and she wants them to be successful, not only in her class, but also in their lives.”

Creel’s teaching experience includes six years in Montgomery area high schools. When her family moved to Birmingham in 1998, Creel said, “I started teaching at the University of Montevallo and Jefferson State Community College. I did that for almost 10 years before coming to PHS.”

Creel’s college-level teaching experience paid off.

“Mrs. Creel’s varied teaching experiences gave her keen insight into what creates successful students. Like many PHS teachers, her personal commitment to get the best from her students and ensure they are successful is outstanding,” PHS Principal Bob Lavett said. “PHS graduates who are now in college echo that Mrs. Creel helped prepare them well for college math. What really radiates from Mrs. Creel is that she loves what she does, who she teaches, her school and her fellow teachers.”

“Mrs. Creel’s excitement makes me excited to learn,” Senior Molly Bogan says.

Alisa Creel measures up.


Connie Nolen can be reached by email at CNolen@Shelbyed.k12.al.us.