PCS names Teachers of the Year

Published 3:57 pm Friday, February 1, 2019

PELHAM – Several Pelham City Schools teachers received recognition Monday, Jan. 28, during a board of education meeting. Superintendent Dr. Scott Coefield set aside time to acknowledge the system’s Teachers of the Year.

Before the meeting, which was held at Pelham Park Middle School, a reception was held for the teachers being honored. During the reception, guests enjoyed light hors d’oeuvres, desserts and beverages prepared by students in Pelham High School’s culinary arts program. Pelham Park Ambassadors greeted guests as they arrived and helped everyone find their way around the school.

The teachers received Teacher of the Year plaques, placards to place outside of their classrooms and money to be used in their classrooms. A Teacher of the Year was selected for each school. The district went on to select a District Elementary and District Secondary Teacher of the Year.

The Teachers of the Year are:

-Katelyn Greer: Pelham Oak Elementary

-Elicia Phillips: Pelham Ridge Elementary

-April Wallace: Pelham Park Middle School

-Anna Laura Dyer: Pelham High School

Phillips, a kindergarten teacher, was named the District Elementary Teacher of the Year and Dyer, an Algebra 1 and geometry teacher, is the District Secondary Teacher of the Year. Phillips and Dyer will be the district’s nominations for the Alabama State Department of Education’s Teacher of the Year program.

Phillips, a teacher for about 19 years with the last two at Pelham Ridge, said she was shocked and very humbled to be named a Teacher of the Year. Her passion for teaching was sparked by her fourth grade teacher who took time to work with her when she struggled with reading.

“Just seeing her reach out to help me is what inspired me to become a teacher,” Phillips said.

Phillips’ favorite thing about teaching at Pelham Ridge is the friendly atmosphere. She said she loves how the teachers have high expectations for their students and how the teachers work as a team to accomplish goals.

Phillips said she feels a sense of accomplishment at the end of each school year when she sees the academic growth her students have made. Being named as Teacher of the Year at Pelham Ridge and having a former student write about how much she has influenced their life have been two of her favorite moments in her career.

Dyer said being named a Teacher of the Year and the District Secondary Teacher of the Year is a humbling experience because there are so many great teachers in Pelham. Dyer said she she’s known since she was a child that she wanted to be a teacher, but it was a math teacher named Mrs. Duckett that made her want to be a high school math teacher.

“Mrs. Duckett was my math teacher in the ninth, 11th and 12th grade,” she said. “That was when I knew that I wanted to specifically be a high school math teacher, and math is what I was the best at.”

Dyer has been teaching for nine years and all of them have been at PHS. Dyer said student success begins with a meaningful teacher-student relationship, and she even supports her students outside the classroom by attending their extracurricular activities. Her biggest desire is to see her students leave her classroom with more confidence in their math ability than when they first walked through her door.

Greer has been teaching for seven years, all of which have been in Pelham. She began teaching at Valley Elementary and then transitioned to Pelham Oaks. She has taught first grade throughout her career. Like Phillips, Greer also became a teacher because one of her teachers in elementary school had a profound impact on her life.

She’s involved in several professional development teams and leadership organizations and strives to implement best practices that improve teaching and increase student engagement and student success.

Wallace, the library media specialist at Pelham Park Middle, has been a librarian for more than 10 years and has taught at PPMS for two years. Wallace is passionate about instilling a love of reading in her students, and she especially loves when she can reach a reluctant reader.

She aims to make the library a comfortable space where students feel at ease. She said her favorite thing about being a library media specialist is that she has an opportunity to connect with all students at the school – not just one grade or content area.

Coefield and the board members thanked the teachers for their dedication to PCS and congratulated them on their accomplishment.