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Paul Kelsey, Pleasant Grove Elementary's STEAM/Technology Teacher Chosen As One Of Sixteen Finalist For Alabama Teacher Of The Year

Early this month, the Alabama Board Of Education named Pleasant Grove Elementary’s Technology Teacher Paul Kelsey as one of the 16 finalists for the 2020-2021 Alabama Teacher Of The Year Award. In March, Kelsey was chosen by the Jefferson County Board of Education as the 2020 Elementary Teacher of the Year for Jefferson County Schools.

The educators selected for this prestigious honor have proven their ability to reach students in the classroom and to engage families to support student achievement at higher levels.

The finalists for the Teacher of the Year award have also been resilient and innovative in their educational outreach. This year’s 16 state finalists have emerged from a group of over 140 highly skilled educators who submitted official applications. The Alabama Teacher of the Year Program is one of our state’s oldest and most esteemed awards programs. 

The 16 finalist for the 2020-2021 Alabama Teacher Of The Year Award are :

Michelle Wade - Saraland Early Education Center - Saraland City School System - District One Elementary Teacher of the Year

David Dai - Alma Bryant High School - Mobile County School System - District One Secondary Teacher of the Year

Kathryn Knorr - Ogletree Elementary School - Auburn City School System - District Two Elementary Teacher of the Year

Jessica Bowlin - Auburn High School - Auburn City School System - District Two Secondary Teacher of the Year

Meredith Mitchell - Redland Elementary School - Elmore County School System - District Three Elementary Teacher of the Year

Michael Sinnott - Vestavia Hills High School - Vestavia Hills City School System - District Three Secondary Teacher of the Year

Paul David Kelsey - Pleasant Grove Elementary School Jefferson County School System - District Four Elementary Teacher of the Year

Rebecca Blumenfeld- George Washington Carver High School Birmingham City School System- District Four Secondary Teacher of the Year

Sontessia L. Youngblood - Banks School - Pike County School System - District Five Elementary Teacher of the Year

Hannah Hamm Bradford - Pike Road High School - Pike Road City School System- District Five Secondary Teacher of the Year

Andrew Fletcher Jackson - Eden Elementary School - Pell City School System - District Six Elementary Teacher of the Year

Niki L. Bowling - Arab High School - Arab City School System - District Six Secondary Teacher of the Year

Chelsea Byrd - Maddox Intermediate School - Jasper City School System - District Seven Elementary Teacher of the Year

Alana White - Pinson Valley High School - Jefferson County School System - District Seven Secondary Teacher of the Year

Tonia Wilburn - Plainview School - DeKalb County School System - District Eight Elementary Teacher of the Year

Angela M. Jackson Pettus - Athens High School - Athens City School System - District Eight Secondary Teacher of the Year

This pool of outstanding educators will be narrowed down to the top four in July. The 2020-2021 Alabama Teacher of the Year will be announced in August.

Alabama’s Teacher of the Year spends the majority of the school year serving as a full-time ambassador for education and the teaching profession, as well as presenting workshops to various groups and participating on the national level.

Reflecting on her experiences as the most recently announced finalist and Alabama’s current Teacher of the Year, Ana Behel, said, ”As I reflect on my journey as the 2019- 2020 Alabama Teacher of the Year, I would like to send a message of appreciation and solidarity to all my fellow educators during this critical time. Even though we do not claim to have all the answers and are still exploring an uncharted territory, we are modeling for our students the power of having a growth mindset and not giving up as we work hard to identify the most effective ways to reach them.”