Pathways to Excellence
March 7th, 2022
Congratulations Support Person of the Year Winners
Shelby County Schools recently honored the Support Person of the Year winners for the 2021-2022 school year. Kyle Waters, a bus driver for Helena Intermediate School, who had been named by his fellow bus drivers from the district as the Transportation Category Winner was also selected as the Shelby County Schools Overall Support Person of the Year Winner.
Additional category winners were Kim Clowdus, Career Technical Educational Center - Accounting Category Winner
Tyler Phillips, Chelsea High School - Custodial Category Winner
Amy Theabolt, Vincent Middle High School - Food Services Category Winner
Megan Cobb, Inverness Elementary School - Nursing Services Category Winner
Chad Driggers, Oak Mountain Elementary School - Maintenance Category Winner
Missy Smith - Oak Mountain High School- Instructional Category Winner
Luvernia Arnold, Central Office (Human Resources) - Secretarial Category Winner
Additional honorees from the local schools were:
Calera Elementary - Windy Croft - Instructional Aide
Calera Intermediate - Kitta Moore - Custodian
Calera High - Bethany Forsythe - Paraprofessional
Calera Middle - Adreanne Conwell - Child Nutrition Program Manager
Chelsea Middle - Ashlee Harper - Secretary
Chelsea Park Elementary - Jennifer Erwin - Paraprofessional
Columbiana Middle - Amy Horton - Nurse
Elvin Hill Elementary - Janette Humphries - Custodian
Forest Oaks Elementary - Robin Plyer - Paraprofessional
Helena Elementary - Daniel Wooley - Custodian
Helena High - Sharlista Lancaster - Secretary
Helena Intermediate - Nicki McAbee - Paraprofessional
Helena Middle - Jimmy Edwards - Custodian
Linda Nolen Learning Center - Jeana King - Paraprofessional
Montevallo Elementary - Nikki Turner - Nurse
Montevallo High - Anglia Blake - Paraprofessional
Montevallo Middle - Shelia Tripp - Interventionist
Mt Laurel Elementary - Jonathan Cook - Custodian
New Direction - Samantha Price - Paraprofessional
Oak Mountain Intermediate - Marguerite Lane - Paraprofessional
Vanessa Shoemaker - Oak Mountain Middle - Secretary
Shelby County High - Angela Beasley - Registar
Ashley Wheeler - Shelby County Instructional Services Center (Technology)
Shelby Elementary - Sheena Sheffield - Paraprofessional
Vincent Elementary - Jatonica Whitson-Reynolds - Paraprofessional
Vincent Middle High - Amy Theabolt - Child Nutrition Program Manager
Wilsonville Elementary - Amy White - Paraprofessional
Shelby County Honors First Year Teachers of the Year
Congratulations to Lauren Vick, Shelby County Elementary First Year Teacher of the Year. Ms. Vick teaches fourth grade at Wilsonville Elementary School. She is a graduate of the University of Montevallo.
Congratulations to Rylee Holt, Shelby County Secondary First Year Teacher of the Year. Ms. Holt is an English teacher at Montevallo High School. She is a graduate of the University of Montevallo.
Molly Parks Names Assistant Principal at the Linda Nolen Learning Center
The Shelby County Board of Education has approved Molly Parks to serve as the next assistant principal at the Linda Nolen Learning Center. Ms. Parks has over eight years of experience as an educator and is currently the assistant principal at Chalkville Elementary School. Ms. Parks earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Special Education from the University of Mississippi and a Master of Arts Degree in Reading Education from Auburn University and Instructional Leadership from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Marcus Harris Named Assistant Principal at Calera Middle School
The Shelby County Board of Education has approved Marcus Harris to serve as the next assistant principal at Calera Middle School. Mr. Harris has over 12 years of experience in education and is currently employed as a teacher with Hoover City Schools. He earned a Bachelor's degree in Spanish from Jacksonville State University and a Master's degree in Instructional Leadership from the University of Montevallo.
Retirees Recognized at "We Honor You" Retirement Celebration
Shelby County Schools honored district employees who have recently retired, or plan to retire soon, at the "We Honor You" Retirement Celebration held April 14 at the Shelby County Instructional Services Center. Those honored included individuals who have retired since July 1, 2021 or who plan to retire by June 30, 2022. The event was sponsored by the Shelby County Education Foundation.
Each retiree who attended the event had a portrait photo taken and received a "We Honor You" engraved photo frame to commemorate the occasion. The celebration also included a variety of hor d'oeuvres catered by the Shelby County Schools Child Nutrition Department.
Dr. Lewis Brooks, Superintendent of Education, shared that a total of 84 individuals had retired (or were planning to retire) during the July 21-July 22 timeframe. Collectively, those individuals had a total of 1,568 years of service with Shelby County Schools.
Dr. Brooks Launches New Video Podcast Series
Superintendent of Education, Dr. Lewis Brooks, recently launched a new video podcast series called "ONE on ONE with Dr. Brooks" in which he sits down to chat with students about various topics of interest. The series so far has featured senior students from Chelsea, Helena, Montevallo, Oak Mountain and Vincent with plans to feature additional schools before the end of the school year.
"The video podcast with students is a way for me as the leader of the district to get to know the things that important to them, but also a way to highlight the amazing students that we have throughout Shelby County," said Dr. Brooks.
Shelby Chamber Holds Student and Educator of the Year Event
Congratulations to Shelby County Schools teachers and students who were recognized today at The Shelby County Chamber's annual Student and Educator of the Year event, sponsored by America's First Credit Union. Teachers from each school were recognized along with high school students from all seven high schools and the Career Technical Educational Center.
Students were divided between the categories of Academic Leader Students and Career Pathway Students and every school had a student represented in each category.
Kaili Williams from Shelby County High School was recognized as one of the top Academic Leaders, while Khaled Zuaiter from Oak Mountain High School was honored as one of the top Career Pathway Students. Additionally, Isaura Hernandez-Landeros from the Career Technical Educational Center (Montevallo High School) was recognized as a Future Leader from the Academic Leaders category and Riley Kate Hulsey from Helena High School was recognized as a Future Leader from the Career Pathways Students.
Christy Cordrey from Helena Intermediate School won Elementary School Educator of the Year and Elizabeth Birdsong from Columbiana Middle School won Middle School Educator of the Year.
S.O.D.A Chapters Leading Efforts for Student-Led Organ Donation Registrations
Students representing the Chelsea High School S.O.D.A. (Student Organ Donation Advocates) chapter joined Legacy of Hope representatives at the Shelby County Schools' monthly administrative meeting to share how the school district is leading the way in student-led organ donation registration efforts in Alabama. Chelsea High School's S.O.D.A chapter was the first in the state of Alabama before being joined by Oak Mountain High School's chapter as the second. Both groups of students are doing amazing advocacy work helping to educate their fellow students about the gift of organ donation and how many lives one donor can save.
Helena Middle School Principal Honored
Congratulations to Helena Middle School Principal, Dr. Matthew Epps, who was recently recognized by the University of Alabama and University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Educational Leadership Programs with the C. John Tarter Graduate Student Excellence in Educational Leadership Research Award.
Helena High School Wins Varsity Scholars' Bowl
Congratulations to the Helena High School Varsity Scholars' Bowl Team for winning the Shelby County Scholars' Bowl competition. Oak Mountain High School finished the competition in second place and Chelsea High School finished in third place.
Varsity Individual High Scorers
Individual High Scorers for the Varsity Scholar's Bowl included Katie Ozley - MHS, Natalie Doefler - CAHS, Will Griffin - HHS, Joel Young - CHHS, Tanner Sogner - SCHS, Mitchell Kidd - VMHS, and Lewis Fuller - OMHS. Fuller was the first place overall high scorer followed by Young in second place and Griffin in third place.
Oak Mountain High School Wins JV Scholars Bowl Wins Scholars' Bowl
Congratulations to the Oak Mountain High School Junior Varsity Scholar's Bowl Team for winning the Shelby County Scholars Bowl competition. Helena High School finished the competition in second place and Montevallo High School finished in third place.
Junior Varsity Individual High Scorers
Individual High Scorers for the Junior Varsity were Mason Parker - CHHS, Aiden Glenn - MHS, Jeremy Gudino - HHS, Abby Moore - OMHS, Conner Buchanan - VMHS, and Evan Smith - SCHS. Gudino was the overall high scorer followed by Smith in second place and Moore and Glenn tied for third place.
Chelsea Wins 8th Grade Scholars' Bowl
Congratulations to Chelsea Middle School's 8th Grade Scholars' Bowl Team for winning the 8th Grade Scholars' Bowl. Helena Middle School finished in second place followed by Columbiana Middle in third place
8th Grade Individual High Scorers
Individual High Scorers for the 8th Grade Scholars' Bowl were Payson Davis - VMHS, Mary House - MMS, Ella Gurtler - CHMS, Lilly Barnes - CAMS, Carter Haney, HMS - Carter Haney, MMS, and Jonavon Smith - CMS. Smith was the overall high scorer followed by Gurtler in second place and Hudson and Barnes tied for third place.
Columbiana Middle School Wins 7th Grade Scholars' Bowl
Congratulations to Columbiana Middle School's 7th Grade Scholars' Bowl Team who recently won the 7th Grade Scholars' Bowl. Helena Middle School finished in second place followed by Chelsea Middle in third place.
7th Grade Individual High Scorers
Individual High Scorers for the 7th Grade Scholars' Bowl were Will Hayes - MMS, Ronin Watkins - CMS, Levi Young - VMHS , McKenzie Ovando - CAMS, Brayden Smith - CHMS, and James Walker - HMS. Watkins was the overall high scorer followed by Young in second place and Hayes in third place.
Helena Middle School Wins 6th Grade Scholars' Bowl
Congratulations to Helena Middle School's 6th Grade Scholars' Bowl Team who recently won the 6th Grade Scholars' Bowl. Chelsea Middle School finished in second place followed by Vincent Middle in third place.
6th Grade Individual High Scorers
Individual High Scorers for the 6th Grade Scholars' Bowl were Lawson Jones - CAMS, Aidan Cui - OMMS, Jonah Keeton - CMS; Sawyer Adams - MMS, Sawyer Griswold - CHMS, Riley Spates - VMS, and Tori Blevins - HMS. Spates was the overall high scorer followed by Griswold in second place and Blevins in third place.
Technology Department Hosts First Byte of </Code/> Competition
Over 80 students from 10 Shelby County middle and high schools recently competed in the first A Byte of </Code/> Competition, hosted by the SCS Technology Department. The competition provided a real-life problem for the students to solve based on the NASA’s Curiosity Rover and a recent encounter with some unfriendly terrain on Mars.
Nicknamed "Root", the Curiosity Rover has been on Mars since 2012 and has spent the past few months exploring the Greenheugh Pediment, a gentle slope capped by rubbly sandstone. According to NASA, the rover briefly summited this area's north face two years ago, but navigated back onto the pediment's southern side to explore it more fully. Due to an unexpected change in the terrain, The Curiosity Rover was forced to turn around on March 10 to avoid damaging its wheels on the numerous ventifacts, or wind-sharpened rocks. NASA's Curiosity Mission Team has nicknamed the area as “gator back” terrain due to its resemblance to the scaly appearance of an alligator.
The students' mission was to accurately code their Curiosity Rover to travel through the Greenheugh Pediment, being sure to avoid the ventifact areas. Beyond the Pediment, the students' Curiosity Rover then traveled into a Transition Zone where the soil became flatter and changed in composition. The layers of soil in this area help scientists understand whether microscopic life could have survived in the ancient Martian environment. The students ended the mission by collecting three soil samples from the Transition Zone.
The students worked collaboratively through the Plan It! and Code It! stages. They were given 35 minutes to plan how to code their Curiosity Rover to travel through the Greenheugh Pediment and the Transition Zone. They then had 50 minutes to write the code for what they planned, as well as three opportunities to test out their code on the competition field. These opportunities allowed the teams to check the accuracy of their measurements and code, and then have time to change or add to the code so that their Curiosity Rover would successfully navigate the competition field.
The next stage was Run It! where each team had one final opportunity to have their Root robot complete the course. This was the time when their coding was judged using a scoring rubric.
The winners of the High School competition were:
1st place - OMHS - ctrl-alt-compete - Evan Dorrough, Coen McDonald, Jack Stewart, Luke Kolar
2nd place - MHS - Cookie Bytes - Natalia Sotelo Oscar Rodriguez
3rd place - VMMH - The Calculators - Ethan Galloway, Damien Jolley, Brooklin Enfield, Kimberly Lasseter, Emma Shinn, Landon Brooks
The winners of the Middle School competition were:
1st place - HMS - The Code Squad - Brennen Dennis, Joseph Valencia, Malik Dobbs, Connor Wright
2nd place - HMS - The Super Coders - Charlie Gardner, Ash Waltz
3rd place - CHMS - Runtime Terrors - John Williams, John Ryan Miller, Arina Markina, Cassidy Heineman
3rd place- CMS - CMS Phishing Team - Titus Jackson, Xander Smith, Wyatt Brasher, Joseph Pastrana-Patino, Alex Vick
Shelby County High School Holds Ribbon Cutting on H.O.P.E Instructional Garden
Excited students and supporters were on hand for the official ribbon cutting of the H.O.P.E. (Herbs Offering Personal Enrichment) Instructional Garden at Shelby County High School. The garden was a joint project of Marisol Lilly's Working Wildcats students who are learning job transition skills and Dustin Cleckler's FFA students.
The H.O.P.E. project, which originated at Vincent Middle High School, was the original idea of Tazikis Restaurant founder and owner, Keith Richards, and former Shelby County School's jobs coach, Cindy Vinson, both of whom were on hand for the grand opening of the new garden at SCHS.
The new garden at SCHS provides fresh herbs such as rosemary, basil, and oregano to local Tazikis restaurants while providing students with special needs with on-the-job training skills. Working Wildcat students help in the garden, harvest the herbs, and sell them to the restaurants, giving students an income for their hard work.
In addition to the H.O.P.E Project, the garden also includes a section that is maintained by the FAA students. Produce from this section of the garden will be used to help the community.