Return to Headlines

Berry Middle's Kevin Pughsley is Selected as 2023 Alternate State Teacher of the Year

May 15, 2023

(Hoover, AL) - The Hoover City Schools District Secondary Teacher of the Year, Berry Middle School’s Kevin Pughsley, was named the 2023-2024 State Secondary Teacher of the Year and the Alternate State Teacher of the Year. Pughsley attended a special program on May 10 in Montgomery where the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) announced Oak Mountain Middle School’s Jeffrey L. Norris as the Alabama Teacher of the Year and Pughsley as the Alternate State Teacher of the Year. 


Pughsley said, “I am grateful and humbled to be recognized amongst 55,000 teachers across our state who work to have an impact in and outside the classroom every day.  I was told at one point that I should never be a teacher because I wouldn't be good at it. I learned from that moment the power of words and became determined to make sure every student who walked in my room felt valued and knew they could conquer any dream they wanted to achieve.”  


Pughsley began his journey in the Alabama Teacher of the Year competition as one of the "Sweet 16" candidates. The 16 state finalists were from a group of more than 150 top educators who submitted applications for the state honor. After an extensive interview, Pughsley was selected as a Top 4 finalist.


Pughsley has taught at Berry Middle School for six years and is a 6th-grade earth science teacher. He's been an educator for 17 years and serves as a district, state, and national trainer for best practices in science education. He brings a hands-on and minds-on approach to earth science in his classroom, which garners the utmost attention. 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 says each lesson is a moment that could potentially change a student's belief about their future, and he’s grateful for the privilege of facilitating meaningful moments for all students.


“Seventeen years ago, I made the decision to be a teacher following a calling that I felt God had put on my heart.  In those years, there have been many joys, tears, laughter, frustrations, successes, and failures in my attempts to build relationships, connect, engage, and challenge my students in and out of the classroom,” said Pughsley.  “To my family and every teacher, colleague, and administrator I have had the pleasure working with over the past 17 years, thank you for investing in me as a teacher and helping me become the man and educator I am today.”

Pughsley says being part of the Teacher of the Year competition process has allowed him to meet and network with other impactful and inspiring educators across the state. He says it also serves as motivation to keep working hard and impacting students, families, and colleagues in the future.


The Alabama Teacher of the Year program is one of the state’s oldest and most esteemed recognition programs. Click here to read the State Teacher of the Year news release from the ALSDE.