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2014-15 Hoover City Schools Teachers of the Year

 Minette Wiggins
Trace Crossings Elementary
 Tosha Caston-Smith
Spain Park High

16-Dec-2014 (HCS) - Hoover City Schools proudly announces Mrs. Minette Wiggins, Trace Crossings Elementary School, and Mrs. Tosha Caston-Smith, Spain Park High School, as the 2014-15 HCS Elementary and Secondary Teachers of the Year.  Already Teachers of the Year at their respective schools, Wiggins and Caston-Smith were selected from other HCS school-level Teachers of the Year (see below).

Wiggins has served in education more than 32 years.  Caston-Smith has been in education more than 22 years.

HCS Teachers of the Year are put forward as State Board of Education District IV candidates for the Alabama Teacher of the Year Program, administered by the Alabama State Board of Education and the Alabama State Department of Education.  The Hoover school system has been fortunate to have many teachers advance to represent the Alabama Teacher of the Year program. As stated in the application process, the purpose of the Alabama Teacher of the year program is to "....seek annually to honor and recognize excellence in the teaching profession by identifying outstanding Alabama classroom teachers at local, district and state levels." The Alabama Teacher of the Year Program is separate from the Jacksonville State University Teacher Hall of Fame, another prestigious program which annually recognizes excellence in education.

All school-level Teachers of the Year submitted packets outlining education history; professional biographies; community involvement; and philosophies of teaching.  See the official packet here

Beth Uhlman
Bluff Park Elementary
Physical Education

"One of the greatest rewards is
witnessing students as they improve their strength,
not just 
physically but mentally and emotionally." 

Robin Sellers
Deer Valley Elementary
1st Grade
"I strive to create an environment that promotes autonomy,
where students are encouraged to be problem solvers
and not rely on others to give them answers."
Julie Strength
Green Valley Elementary
Reading Coach

  "Teachers never stop learning.  It is my personal belief
that you have to first engage students and earn their
trust before you can asking anything of them."
Melody Greene
Greystone Elementary
4th Grade

  "When a student leaves my classroom at the end of school,
my goal is for them to remember time in our classroom as being
full of life, challenging and with a caring teacher who valued them
as a unique part of the family."
Beth Lyda
Gwin Elementary
Special Education

  "I firmly believe students need to become independent
with their thinking, work skills and motivation, and need
to become independent self-starters."
Kinsley Hyche
Riverchase Elementary
1st Grade
  "I must maintain a positive attitude for those I teach.  
My demeanor could be the difference between success and
failure for my learners."
Ashley Waring
Rocky Ridge Elementary
4th Grade


  "I believe that an outstanding teacher is one who carries
a passion for lifelong learning and an urge to stay connected
with the community."
Carla Marchant
Shades Mtn. Elementary
3rd Grade


  "My greatest reward as a teacher comes from seeing students be
independent thinkers and be able to solve problems.  I want them
to feel empowered."
Peggy Eason
South Shades Crest Elementary
  "I believe that teachers should be lifelong learners
and instill that love of learning in their children.  
I believe children learn best when they
have the opportunity to study
things important to them."

Minette Wiggins
Trace Crossings Elementary-1st Grade 
  "My greatest reward as a teacher is knowing that
I have made a difference in the lives of children -
priceless, each and every one."
Jonathan Schneider
Berry Middle School -6th Grade English 
  "An outstanding teacher must be adept at helping students
feel a sense of accomplishment in their learning.  My classroom and lessons revolve around being a facilitator -
building an atmosphere that fosters creativity and experimentation."
Leigh Ann Roe
Brock's Gap Intermediate
6th Grade Science
  "I strive to be the kind of teacher that I would want my own
children to have.  Building a connection with each student is
key to a successful and productive year."
Adrian Fitchpatrick
R.F. Bumpus Middle -7th Grade English 
  "There are not many professions where you can know
that each day you are having a significant impact on a
person's life, your community and in most cases, beyond."
Keyon Williams
Simmons Middle
Physical Education

  "I believe all students should be given opportunities and
skills to become lifelong movers, regardless of their
backgrounds or personal circumstances."
Susan Norris
Hoover High School
  "In education, rewards are not generously handed out.  However,
the students in my classroom are the reward for me.  Every student
that walks into my classroom is a gift."
Tosha Caston-Smith
Spain Park High School


  "One of my greatest rewards is seeing students
realize their own potential.  I want them to be
able to step back and evaluate themselves,
to know their strengths and weaknesses
and constantly learn and build on their strengths."

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