Photo courtesy of Cindy Adams.
1113 Get to know
Dr. Cindy Adams and Dr. Kimberly White, Principal, Gwin Elementary.
Tell us about yourself.
I serve as the chief academic officer of reading and humanities for Hoover City Schools. I work with 1,000 teachers, 17 schools and nearly 14,000 students in Hoover. I have worked in education for 35 years, and during that time, I’ve worked with every age level from preschool through college. I also serve as an adjunct professor for The University of Alabama at Birmingham.
I am a National Board Certified Teacher and was named Teacher of the Year twice in my career while working in Texas and Virginia. I earned my doctorate in education leadership and reading in 2011. I am an alumnus of Penn State, the University of Kentucky, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. My family includes husband Lloyd, three grown sons, a golden retriever named Cash, and my first grandchild, due in early November.
I have been learning about and working with the new Alabama College and Career Ready Standards since 2010.
What led you to transition from Vestavia to Hoover?
After 13 wonderful years in Vestavia schools, I looked forward to a new challenge of working in a district that embraced a 1:1 technology initiative, providing mobile learning devices for students in Grades three through 12.
I think it is important to view technology tools “in the service of instruction” and not simply gadgets.
Hoover City Schools seek to make learning more engaging and instruction more effective and efficient with high quality technology tools.
Where do you see the Hoover district’s greatest opportunity for improvement from a curriculum and instruction standpoint?
Recent parent surveys across the district reflect a solid belief that Hoover teachers offer outstanding instruction each day. Hoover’s greatest opportunity for improvement resides in the collaboration of those wonderful teachers.
Providing opportunities for teachers of the same grade level or of the same content area from across the district to meet, exchange ideas and explore new learning activities will help propel the district in the coming years. Finding time for the teachers to meet and resources for them to use in those trainings will be the challenge.
From preK to high school, how can parents most effectively work with their children’s educators/school administration to maximum benefit for these young learners?
Hoover parents are active participants at their schools, and the schools benefit tremendously from the time and interest parents provide to the schools.
Getting involved in their students’ school activities helps parents to be more comfortable calling or emailing teachers and principals with questions and concerns.
Teacher websites, Edmodo, class and school newsletters, and school Twitter feeds all try to strengthen the communication connections between schools and homes. I hope parents can find a convenient way to stay in touch with their students’ teachers and school.
What is the one thing you wish parents understood about Alabama College and Career Readiness Standards, also known as the Common Core?
The new Alabama College and Career Ready Standards hold great promise for Alabama’s students.
The new standards will challenge students and teachers as we implement them these first few years, but ultimately, I hope they help more students complete high school with the skills they need to enter and complete college.
Only about 31 percent of Alabama citizens hold college degrees. We need to better prepare more students with the academic stamina to sustain them through the college journey — with employable skills upon graduation.
Any closing thoughts or comments?
Since arriving in July, I have met with all the schools’ principals and am meeting each week with small groups of teachers to find out their concerns, challenges and success stories. It has been a privilege, and I have been warmly welcomed in each school.
I am fortunate to work closely with Dr. Ron Dodson, assistant superintendent, and with Tammy Dunn, the chief academic officer of math and science. In a school district the size of Hoover, it takes a strong team to serve the district’s schools and offer vision, stability and help.