Shelby County teachers compete in district’s Design Star Challenge Contest

Published 3:32 pm Friday, August 28, 2015

Shelby County Schools teachers from across the district have competed in the Design Star Challenge Contest. (File)

Shelby County Schools teachers from across the district have competed in the Design Star Challenge Contest. (File)


Shelby County Schools is celebrating the creativity and hard work of teachers in preparing welcoming learning environments for students with the creation of the Design Star Challenge Contest.

Michelle Hall, Supervisor of Library Media and Fine Arts, had the idea for the contest after visiting schools and seeing how hard teachers had worked all summer to decorate their rooms and classroom doors.

“I was so impressed and inspired with not only how creative these teachers were with their classroom decorations, but how hard they worked to create truly engaging learning environments for their students,” said Hall. “We appreciate all of the hours these teachers dedicated to getting their classrooms ready and want to celebrate the imaginative spirit in our schools.”

Hall asked teachers to submit photos of their creative classroom spaces for the first ever Design Star Challenge. From the photos submitted, a total of eight finalists were selected.

Photos of each finalist’s submission have been uploaded to the Shelby County Schools’ Facebook page for members of the community to vote on their favorite Design Star entries. Voting began Friday, Aug. 28 at 8 a.m. and will go through Monday, Aug. 31 until noon.

You can vote for your favorite entry from the Facebook album “Shelby County Design Stars”.

The finalists from the elementary level are: Whitney Battle from Vincent Elementary; Angela Binkerd from Shelby Elementary; April Maner from Calera Elementary and Michele Murray from the Linda Nolen Learning Center.  Secondary finalists are Rachel Bevilacqua from Shelby County High School; Cathy Brown at Helena Middle School; Kristen Glover at Oak Mountain Middle School and Dawn Howard at Vincent Middle High School.

The winner will receive a $50 gift certificate to the Shelby County Teacher Resource Center and two tickets to the Shelby County Education Foundation’s Taste of Shelby County event on Sept. 10.

Hall said in addition to individual teacher entries, several schools submitted examples of innovative designs used to engage both parents and students in common areas of the schools.

Examples included the use of QR codes at both Oak Mountain High School and Montevallo High School to communicate announcements and important information.

The QR codes were incorporated into hallway displays at Oak Mountain High School’s entry way and at Montevallo High School’s Career Center.

Oak Mountain Intermediate also submitted an entry for glass display cases that promotes critical thinking skills. The four cases are located in the main hallway leading into the cafeteria.