What a week for our local schools

Published 2:36 pm Tuesday, September 28, 2021

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Through the trials and tribulations of the last two years, administrators, parents, students, superintendents and teachers can all breathe a deep sigh of relief.

They helped lead us through one of the most difficult education cycles of our lifetime, while still making schools in Shelby County some of the best in the state.

Over the last week, not only did Niche.com release its annual list of top schools and school systems in the state, but one school was named a Blue Ribbon school.

That school was Mt Laurel Elementary School in North Shelby County.

Also one of many local elementary schools ranked inside the top 100 for the state, Mt Laurel was one of 325 schools in the country selected to be a National Blue Ribbon recipient.

What a remarkable accomplishment during a time in which conveying lessons in school has been more difficult than ever due to COVID-19.

The award was based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.

In a year where many students fell behind because of remote learning or less personalized learning environments, Mt Laurel, and many others in the county for that matter, flourished.

What makes that most special is it shows the dedication our local teachers have to providing the best education possible.

During a year where stress mounted with so much attention on masks, keeping kids apart during lessons and balancing kids in and out of the room for weeks at a time, the teachers held strong and helped their students grow academically.

That was common theme throughout the county, as each school district (Alabaster City, Hoover City, Pelham City and Shelby County schools) were all ranked inside the top 30 in Alabama.

Beyond that, Shelby County had two elementary schools (Greystone and Calera) ranked inside the top 50 in the state, while six more were inside the top 100.

The county is also home to some of the top high schools and private schools in the state with Spain Park, Oak Mountain, Thompson, Helena and Pelham all inside the top 30 of local high schools; and Indian Springs, Westminster at Oak Mountain and Briarwood Christian all inside the top 20 of private schools.

Kudos to all the teachers, to superintendents Dr. Lewis Brooks, Dr. Wayne Vickers and Dr. Scott Coefield and Dr. Dee Fowler, to all of the students, and to all of the parents.

Without everyone working together, our schools wouldn’t be the best.