SCS Teachers of the Year honored

NORTH SHELBY – The top Shelby County Schools teachers for the 2017-18 school year were recognized on Monday, Dec. 4.

The Shelby County Schools Education Foundation hosted the annual Teacher of the Year Celebration at Oak Mountain High School.

Following a reception, SCS Education Foundation Director Kendall Williams welcomed those in attendance.

“I do a lot of cool stuff in my job, but this has become one of my favorite parts,” Williams said and noted that she was taking over for a “legend” in Rickey Darby, the SCS elementary school coordinator who led the program for many years.

The nominees for Elementary Teacher of the Year were Laura M. Kaylor of Calera Elementary, Krysten Gunn of Calera Intermediate, Cassandra Elmore of Chelsea Park Elementary, Emily Vansant of Elvin Hill Elementary, Jennifer Williams of Forest Oaks Elementary, Wendy Woods of Helena Elementary, Natalie Landrum of Helena Intermediate, Jennifer Nix of Inverness Elementary, Dora T. Newell of Montevallo Elementary, Landra Edwards of Mt Laurel Elementary, Cammie Eanes of Oak Mountain Elementary, Melissa L. Johnson of Oak Mountain Intermediate, Chanda Jennings of Shelby Elementary, Elyse Bristow of Vincent Elementary and Brooke Brewer of Wilsonville Elementary.

Each nominee was recognized by Linda Campanotta and SCS Superintendent Randy Fuller.

Gunn of Calera Intermediate School was named the Elementary Teacher of the Year.

“She’s a model for teachers in our building,” an administrator said during a video tribute to Gunn.

“She is a hard worker; she is dedicated to students’ success,” a co-worker said.

Middle School Teacher of the Year nominees were Mark Windham of Calera Middle, Lee Hibbs of Chelsea Middle, Patsy Casella of Columbiana Middle, Bobby R. Cummings of Helena Middle, Crystal Dreyer of the Linda Nolen Learning Center, Carolyn K. Nelson of Montevallo Middle and SK Hutchings of Oak Mountain Middle.

The nominees were recognized by Fuller and Jenni Goolsby.

Hutchings was named the Middle School Teacher of the Year.

“She has that gift of being able to relate to any student,” an administrator said.

“She lets you just be yourself,” a student said.

“She knows her students so well,” a co-worker said. “She makes an extra effort to make that relationship with them, and I think that makes the difference.”

The High School Teacher of the Year nominees were Leigh Anne Brown of Calera High, Shannon Goodwin of Chelsea High, Tiffany D. Crumpton of Helena High, Maury Grayson of Montevallo High, Geoffrey Wymer of New Direction, Michael Zauchin of Oak Mountain High, Robert Irwin of the Career Technical Education Center, Michelle Branson of Shelby County High and Brooke Gifford of Vincent High.

The nominees were recognized by Fuller and Jay Peoples.

Zauchin was named the High School Teacher of the Year.

“I really can’t think of anyone in the building he doesn’t work well with,” an administrator said.

“He is honestly the most passionate and compassionate teacher I have ever had,” a student said.

“If I need something done, I go to Mr. Zauchin because I know it’s going to be done well,” an administrator said.