Photo by Jon Anderson
Hoover High School biology teacher Paul McEwan has been named as one of 16 finalists for 2017-18 Alabama Teacher of the Year. Here, he works with some of his students on a collaborative assignment.
Hoover High School biology teacher Paul McEwan has been named as one of 16 finalists for the 2017-18 Alabama Teacher of the Year, state Department of Education officials announced today.
McEwan was chosen to represent state Board of Education District 3 and is one of eight secondary teachers chosen in the top 16.
Other secondary teachers in the running for the award are:
- Jamie Nicole Minsoso of Daphne High School in the Baldwin County system
- Emily Sassano of Benjamin Russell High School in the Alexander City system
- Natalie Ann Roig of Paul Bryant High School in Tuscaloosa City Schools
- Monica Pontoo of Bullock County High School in the Bullock County system
- Mickie Wafler Gibbs of Arab Junior High School in Arab City Schools
- Malyssa Ornett Chandler of Shades Valley High School in the Jefferson County system
- Thomasena Garner of Liberty Middle School in Madison City Schools
The eight district winners at the elementary level are:
- Chasity Collier of Dawes Intermediate School in the Mobile County system
- Charlotte Hartley of Montana Street Magnet School in Dothan City Schools
- Ami Reeves Brooks of Indian Valley Elementary in Sylacauga City Schools
- Tara Foster of Brighton Middle School in the Jefferson County system
- Jean Renae Allen of Pike Road School in Pike Road City Schools
- Erica Rutherford of Cullman City Primary School in Cullman City Schools
- Amy Foster Anderson of Crestline Elementary School in Mountain Brook City Schools
- Mary Tate of Mt. Carmel Primary School in the Madison County system
The 16 finalists were selected from more than 140 nominees across the state by a committee made up of local board of education members, a local school superintendent or representative, the current district Teachers of the Year and a representative from higher education.
The pool soon will be narrowed down to four finalists, and the 2017-18 Teacher of the Year is expected to be named at a ceremony in Montgomery on May 10.
McEwan today said he was honored and humbled to get the Teacher of the Year award for his school. The fact that he won Secondary Teacher of the Year for Hoover City Schools and Alabama Board of Education District 3 is just shocking to him, he said.
McEwan has been teaching for 32 years in high schools in Alabama, Florida, Kentucky and South Carolina. This is his 11th year at Hoover, where he teaches biology to ninth-graders and 11th-grade International Baccalaureate students.
He has a bachelor's degree in biology with a minor in chemistry and a master's degree in instructional technology, both from Asbury University. He lives in Alabaster.
State Superintendent Michael Sentance said in a news release that well-prepared, dedicated, caring, enthusiastic and innovative elementary and secondary teachers are essential to achieving excellence in Alabama’s schools.
“The 16 Alabama Teacher of the Year finalists are shining examples of professionalism and dedication to Alabama’s most valued asset — its children,” Sentance wrote.
Alabama’s Teacher of the Year spends most of the school year serving as a full-time ambassador for education and the teaching profession, as well as presenting workshops to various groups. The state Teacher of the Year also automatically becomes a candidate for National Teacher of the Year.
This post was updated at 3:40 p.m. with a comment from McEwan.