The Alabama Teacher of the Year awards will be announced in May, and the Alabama State Department of Education named the 2022-23 finalists for the award last week.
Huntsville City Schools and Madison City Schools were represented among the 16 finalists for Teacher of the Year with a nominee from each system.
Meet the finalists: Kristen Steele and Dee Sims
Huntsville City Schools is represented in the Teacher of the Year finalist pool by Dee Sims of Highlands Elementary School.
Sims has worked at Highlands Elementary since 2006. Since 2015, she has taught both regular and honors math courses. She graduated from the University of West Florida with a B.A. in elementary education and master’s in public health.
The Madison City Schools district is represented by James Clemens High School chemistry teacher Kristen Steele.
A Huntsville native and graduate of Grissom High School, Steele graduated from the University of Alabama with a B.S. in Chemistry and a M.A. in Secondary Education Science.
What’s next for Sims and Steele
The Alabama Teacher of the Year Program seeks annually to honor and recognize excellence in the teaching profession by identifying outstanding Alabama classroom teachers at local, district and state levels.
The award is open to any public school certified classroom teacher, librarian, counselor, or other certified individual whose major responsibility is to work with children in a P-12 setting and provide learning opportunities to meet the academic goals and graduation requirements set by the Alabama State Board of Education. Individuals must be selected by the faculty at the participating school and serving in a capacity for which they hold proper certification.
The 2021-22 Alabama Teacher of the Year, Kimberly Johnson of Auburn City Schools, said serving as an ambassador for teachers as the award-winner is among the greatest honors of the Alabama Teacher of the Year Award.
“The success of educating the children of Alabama lies in the contributions of each teacher sharing their expertise and knowledge with others through inspiration, solid practices, modeling, and commitment. I am grateful you continue to give to our profession and to those who benefit from teachers doing ‘hard things.’ Teaching is a difference-making endeavor.”Kimberly Johnson, 2021-22 Alabama Teacher of the Year
Sims and Steele will find out in May if they are the new winner of the prestigious award.