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HCS Announces 2023 Teachers of the Year

December 15, 2022


(Hoover, AL) - Maghan Craig has been named the 2023-2024 Elementary Teacher of the Year for the Hoover City Schools District (HCS). On Wednesday, December 14, district leaders surprised Craig and her students at Bluff Park Elementary School (BPES) with the exciting news. Craig is a first-grade teacher at BPES and has taught there for six years. She has been an educator for 19 years. Her principal, Amy Weems, says Craig is a passionate, quiet leader that is well respected by her colleagues, students, and the Bluff Park community. Weems says Craig loves her students, has a high level of organizational skills, possesses an intuitive nature, and can turn an ordinary lesson into a magical learning experience. Craig is a lifelong learner and is currently pursuing her National Boards and LETRS certifications. She believes incorporating strategies like Whole Brain Teaching, Orton Gillingham’s multisensory approach for ELA, and the CPA model for math helps her reach all students due to the high engagement.


Craig said, “I feel extremely grateful and honored to be selected as the Elementary Teacher of the Year. I want to thank the committee for choosing me to represent our wonderful Hoover City Schools. This is such an amazing honor, and I do not take it lightly. In my 19 years of teaching, I have had some excellent mentors and colleagues. I truly just want my students to feel loved and look forward to coming to school each day. I believe teachers are difference makers, and I love that I get to make a difference every day that I come to work. I’m passionate about finding ways to bring learning to life and making it memorable for students.  I enjoy creating projects and songs to help reinforce the standards. Seeing my students fully engaged in a lesson brings me so much joy. I work at such an amazing school! You can walk into any classroom and see the teachers loving on their students and making each day count. I am so proud to work alongside such amazing teachers, and I’m truly grateful to have our supportive administration leading the way.”


Kevin Pughsley has been named the HCS Secondary Teacher of the Year.  District leaders surprised Pughsley with the news on Wednesday afternoon at Berry Middle School (BMS). Pughsley has taught at BMS for six years and is a 6th-grade earth science teacher. He has been an educator for 16 years and serves as a district, state, and national trainer for best practices in science education. In a letter of recommendation, HCS Chief Learning Officer (former Berry Middle School principal) Dr. Chris Robbins says Pughsley has a magnificent teaching ability as a sixth-grade earth science teacher at BMS. He brings a hands-on and minds-on approach to earth science in his classroom, which garners the utmost attention. Dr. Robbins says Pughsley knows science standards so well that he takes advantage of cross-curricular connections with other teachers on his interdisciplinary team. His content knowledge and use of standards-driven instruction are what you would expect from an Alabama Teacher of the Year. Pughsley is a mentor teacher for  A+ College Ready, trains teachers across Alabama, and uses Marzano’s New Art of Teaching and ‘Five Questions Every Teacher Should Ask’ to encourage teachers to obtain student feedback for their own growth and reflection. He advocates for teaching with intensity and enthusiasm to make learning contagious and to develop relationships with at-risk students. 


Pughsley said, “I was once told, ‘You should not be a teacher because you wouldn't be good at it.’ This recognition confirms that I do have an impact in the field of education on students, teachers, and parents. I am blessed, humbled, and honored to be recognized and work alongside the best teachers in Alabama who challenge and inspire me. The past two years were difficult as an educator, but this reminds me why I show up to work every day so that I can honor the teachers who believed in me and helped me along the way. As a student, I struggled academically, often got into trouble, and experienced little success. Knowing that feeling fuels my passion to have energy and enthusiasm and provide exciting and challenging experiences for students so they can understand the "how" and "why" behind each concept. Each lesson, each day, is a moment that could potentially change a student's belief about their own future, and I am grateful for this privilege to facilitate meaningful moments for all students.”


Members of the HCS Teacher of the Year selection committee say Craig and Pughsley demonstrate a strong passion for student engagement, growth, and achievement. They will now represent HCS in the 2023-2024 Alabama Teacher of the Year competition. We wish them the best of luck!

HCS leadership would also like to recognize and congratulate all 2023 Teachers of the Year across the District! Watch the 2023 Teacher of the Year video!



Bluff Park: Maghan Craig

Brock's Gap: Stephanie Watson

Deer Valley: Monica Horne

Green Valley: Bridget Mitchell

Greystone: Christie Kelley

Gwin: Erica Russell

Riverchase: Mariel Broussard

Rocky Ridge: Russell Hallman

Shades Mountain: Jessica Berger

South Shades Crest: Lindsey Mayson

Trace Crossings: Kristen Reed



R.F. Bumpus: Bo Doss 

Berry: Kevin Pughsley

Simmons: Megan Pezeshkmehr



Hoover: Robert Reed Lochamy, III

Spain Park: Jill Wallace

RC3: Jennifer Williams