PHS Teacher of the Year Lee Short—Making Science Fun

Published 4:57 pm Thursday, December 22, 2016

By CONNIE NOLEN / Community Columnist

“I have been at Pelham High School for over half my life,” said PHS Teacher of the Year Lee Short with a grin, “and I love being here.”

I remember her as Lee Cribbs—a smart, energetic young woman with a clear focus. Once she graduated from PHS, the young Cribbs was soon back. At first, she was completing preparatory observations for her student teaching with her former AP Biology teacher–who Pelham knows today as PHS Counselor Laura Cochran—and then Short joined the PHS faculty.

“When Mrs. Short teaches, she doesn’t just give the information; she tells stories and gives interesting facts that make me remember content,” said PHS Senior Kelsey Schoenmeyer. “In AP Biology, we also do fun learning activities. No matter what we do in class, I always find myself enjoying AP Biology.”

In addition to AP Biology, this year Short teaches freshman biology, an earth and space class, and she supervises the credit recovery lab for one period. Even for the incredibly energetic Short, this has been a challenging year; however, Short rises to the challenge with aplomb. Her motivation is her students.

“Mrs. Short describes with logic, makes great connections and really nails her points to your brain,” PHS Junior Braxton Jeffcoat said.

Teaching across the hall from Short, I watch her approach education as science. She’s always noting the newest innovations in what works with students and balancing that knowledge beautifully with her experience in the classroom.

“In AP Biology we were doing something incredibly interesting,” said PHS Senior Faith Nolen. “Suddenly, I looked at Mrs. Short with her beautiful red, curly hair and I realized that Mrs. Short is our PHS Mrs. Frizzle!”

Short laughed at the comparison. I’ve watched her teach—and that comparison is wonderfully accurate. From moment to moment, Short is open and honest enjoying her subject matter, her students and the surprises that occur when science and young brains meet. Every day is a journey towards knowledge with Lee Short, our PHS teacher of the year.