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Darroch: HCS Elementary Teacher of the Year

From the Hoover Sun
December 13, 2018

Stacey Stocks, Karen Darroch, Sherita Williams

Hoover school officials this morning surprised Karen Darroch with the news that she has been chosen as the district’s Elementary Teacher of the Year.

Darroch is a technology coach at three elementary schools: Bluff Park, Deer Valley and Greystone.

This is her 12th year in education, after beginning her professional life as an accountant.

Darroch said she knew during her senior year in college at the University of Texas at Arlington that she had made a mistake in choosing accounting as her career, but her parents advised her to go ahead and finish her degree and said she could go back to school for education on her own dime.

Karen Darroch After graduating college in 1990, she moved forward with an accounting career, working for AmSouth Mortgage, and later was controller for Ticketlink before it became Ticketmaster.

But the passion for education still burned within her, so when her son was 3 or 4, she went back to school and earned a master’s degree in elementary education from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2007.

“Growing up, all of my teachers encouraged me to be an educator, but I didn’t listen,” she said. Finally, “I realized that was my love.”

Darroch taught two years in the fourth grade at Prince of Peace Catholic School and in 2009 moved to Hoover City Schools. She taught four years at Green Valley Elementary and two years at Deer Valley Elementary, all in the fourth grade.

During that time, she was selected as one of two teachers to pilot a technology project for the entire district and often lent her expertise to other teachers across the district on how to integrate technology into their instruction.

In 2015, Darroch was tapped as a technology coach.

Kelli Lane, the technology integration coordinator for Hoover City Schools, said in a recommendation letter that Darroch has extensively researched how to integrate science, technology, engineering, math and computer science into elementary classrooms and ensures that teachers are well-prepared to meet new digital literacy and computer science standards.

See more from the Hoover Sun

HCS School-Level Teachers of the Year for the 2018-2019 School Year:

Adriana Walker -Brock's Gap Intermediate
Andrea Lynch - Gwin Elementary
Ashlee Webster - Simmons Middle
Brittany Hunt - Deer Valley Elementary
Caroline Morris - R.F. Bumpus Middle
Carolyn Shiflett - Rocky Ridge Elementary
Daniela DeLuca - Berry Middle
Demetria Long - Shades Mountain Elementary
Ellen Olive -Riverchase Elementary
Galey Thomas - South Shades Crest Elementary
Karen Darroch - Greystone Elementary
Kyle Moore - Green Valley Elementary
Lindie Vijoen - Bluff Park Elementary
Lisa Carey - Hoover High School
Natalie Tate Brazda - Trace Crossing Elementary
Richard Stamper - Spain Park High School