Photos courtesy of Jason Gaston and Sandy Ritchey
AL Teacher of Yr 16-17 Sweet 16
Three teachers with Hoover connections have been named as "Sweet 16" finalists for the 2016-17 Alabama Teacher of the Year. They are, from left, Bluff Park Elementary kindergarten teacher Kathryne Flippo, Bumpus Middle School computer science teacher Vinny Chiaramonte and Crestline Elementary School literacy coach Sandy Ritchey, who formerly was an assistant principal at Gwin Elementary and who lives in Hoover's Quail Run subdivision.
Two Hoover teachers have been selected as “Sweet 16” finalists to become the 2016-17 Alabama Teacher of the Year, as well as a Mountain Brook teacher who lives in Hoover.
Kathryne Flippo, a kindergarten teacher at Bluff Park Elementary School, and Vinny Chiaramonte, a computer science teacher at Bumpus Middle School, are the elementary and secondary representatives for Alabama Board of Education District 3, the state Department of Education announced.
Sandy Ritchey, a former assistant principal at Gwin Elementary School who lives in the Quail Run subdivision in Hoover and is now a literacy coach at Crestline Elementary in Mountain Brook, also is a finalist.
They are among eight elementary and eight secondary teachers chosen as the “Sweet 16” finalists from among more than 140 educators nominated across the state.
The pool soon will be narrowed down to four teachers, and the 2016-17 Alabama Teacher of the Year is scheduled to be announced May 11 at the RSA Plaza Terrace in Montgomery.
The other elementary teacher finalists are:
- Kelly Cleere, Orange Beach Elementary, Baldwin County Schools
- Dawn Davis, Montana Street Magnet, Dothan City Schools
- Mikki Powell, Rock Quarry Elementary, Tuscaloosa City Schools
- Dawn Judy Ellis, Peter Crump Elementary, Montgomery County Schools
- Connie Bowman, Iola Roberts Elementary, Pell City Schools
- Nancy Spencer Brandon, Rainbow Elementary, Madison City Schools
The other secondary teacher finalists are:
- Judy Peacock Bridges, Baldwin County High, Baldwin County Schools
- Kathryn Johnson Enos, Enterprise High, Enterprise City Schools
- Joseph Smith III, John Herbert Phillips Academy, Birmingham City Schools
- John Conway, Booker T. Washington Magnet High, Montgomery County Schools
- Kate White, Guntersville High, Guntersville City Schools
- Dana Jacobson, Clay-Chalkville High, Jefferson County Schools
- Carol Bohatch, James Clements High, Madison City School
Sherrill Parris, the senior deputy state superintendent of education, said in a news release that the educators nominated for this prestigious award nurture the character, intellect and talent of Alabama's students and are committed to helping their students achieve success in the classroom and beyond.
"They exemplify teaching at its best, and we are proud to have them teaching in our state," Parris said.
Once selected, Alabama's Teacher of the Year spends the majority of the following school year serving as a full-time ambassador for education and the teaching profession, as well as presenting workshops to various groups. The state winner also automatically becomes a candidate for the National Teacher of the Year award.
Trace Crossings Elementary School teacher Minnette Wiggins a year ago was named Alabama's 2015-16 Elementary Teacher of the Year. Read more about that and see a video of her acceptance speech here.