Return to Headlines

Four HCS Educators Accepted into the TEDxBirmingham Educator Program

It is with great pleasure that we would like to announce that four educators from Hoover City Schools were accepted into the prestigious TEDxBirmingham Educator Program for the 2021-2022 cohort.

Those educators are:

  • Dianna Minor from Berry Middle School
  • Marcus Johnson from Simmons Middle School
  • Angela Petix from Spain Park High School
  • Melissa Ellis from Simmons Middle School

These educators were selected for their commitment to education and their potential to transfer what they learn at TEDxBirmingham to their students, fellow teachers, and school districts. The group will also explore ways to improve education for all.

Dianna Minor is a Secondary Instructional Coach at Berry Middle School. Before stepping into her current role, she worked as an English/language arts teacher. Minor has National Boards Certification in Early Adolescence/English-language arts and has certification in Instructional Leadership. She is actively involved in several organizations, including Alabama's NBCT Network, Red Mountain Writing Project (UAB), and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.  She is presently completing her Ed.S at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

"I've always loved watching the TED videos over the years and have used them in the classroom,” Minor said. “So, being part of the TEDxBirmingham Education cohort will give me the opportunity to collaborate with other educators in the area as well as learn about new ideas and lessons that I can possibly create for students. I am excited about the opportunity."

Marcus Johnson is a seventh-grade virtual science teacher at Simmons Middle School. Johnson has been in the classroom for six years, and he hopes his students will fall in love with science just like he did. He earned his Master's degree in Education with a concentration in Secondary Science from Samford University.

“I am thrilled about the opportunity to be a part of the TEDx Birmingham Education Cohort,” Johnson said. “This opportunity will allow me to work with the many amazing educators and leaders in the area. I look forward to growing as an educator and sharing my experiences with others." 

Angela Petix has taught English at Spain Park High School since 2001. Petix holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in Language Arts and a Master’s in Educational Leadership. Being part of the Hoover City Schools Community holds a special place in her heart, and she looks forward to representing it at TEDxBirmingham.

"It is such an honor to be a part of the TEDx Birmingham Educator Cohort!” Petix said. “I am looking forward to collaborating with educators from across the city to develop ideas that will propel our students toward even greater academic achievement and civic engagement."

Melissa Ellis is in her first year as an Instructional Technology Coach at Simmons Middle School. She has previous teaching experience as a Social Studies teacher in middle and high school. Ellis enjoys helping teachers and students engage with instructional technology tools and using blended learning approaches to enhance student creativity and learning experiences. She is a graduate of both the University of Alabama and Samford University.

"I am so excited for the opportunity to learn and grow with a network of TEDx educators," Ellis said. "I believe that students and teachers can use Ted Talks as an opportunity to amplify and diversify student voices and perspectives in the classroom."

TEDxBirmingham is an independent, volunteer effort operated under license from TED. Through various initiatives – including a daylong main event, smaller salon events, and more – TEDxBirmingham strives to foster the diffusion of ideas in order to spark conversations and innovations that lead to a better Birmingham.  

Congratulations to these wonderful educators.

From Left to Right Dianna Minor, Marcus Johnson, Angela Petix and Melissa Ellis' photos together