Teachers, administrators getting ready for school

The Cullman Area Technology Academy (CATA) is seen Wednesday, July 31, 2019. (Maggie Darnell for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – It won’t be long until kids- and the grownups charged with riding herd over them- head back to school. The Tribune is asking teachers, administrators and staff two questions: 

  1. What have you been doing to get ready for the new school year?
  2. What are you most looking forward to this year? 

They could give any answer, from a couple of sentences to an essay. Some folks gave specific answers to 1 and 2, while others just shared their thoughts.  Both are welcome. 

We’ll be sharing here and there from now until school starts.  If you’d like to take part, see below.  Here are a few of the first brave souls to take on the challenge.

Mike Burkett, building construction teacher, Cullman Area Technology Academy (CATA)

“1. To get ready for back to school, I have been thinking about teaching employability skills (i.e. work ethic, punctuality, teamwork, integrity, etc.) because that is what industry people are telling us about students who they plan to hire.  I’ve also been thinking about how to incorporate that into my program using psychological motivation techniques that I have learned in workshops this summer.

“2. I am most looking forward to building new relationships with the ninth graders that will be attending CATA for the first time in many years, and how to get them into thinking and acting with a championship mindset.”

Tasha Flanigan, cosmetology instructor, CATA

“I have been to a summer conference in Birmingham, learning some new techniques to show my students so they will be more advanced in skin and nails. I am so excited for this upcoming year, because my returning students are very eager to compete, advance in their skills and help first-year students to get to that level. We are also going to be doing more community service.” 

Gina Webb, principal, Welti Elementary School

“1. We have been busy working on the exterior and interior of all buildings. We have repainted porches, worked on the outdoor classroom, waxed and polished floors, trimmed hedges and ensured that the building is inviting and cheerful when the students return. Using the funding from the after-school grant, we were excited to offer summer enrichment for students for three weeks in June. The programs offered included breakfast and lunch, STEM activities and enrichment.  I have also updated the Welti School Handbook and planned PD (professional development) for the teachers when they return.

“2. We are excited to be able to offer before- and after-school care and programs for our students during the 2019-2020 school year. This program is possible due to a Dependent Care Grant. I look forward to new Professional Development opportunities for our staff. We welcome existing teachers in new positions as part of our Welti Elementary family.  What I am most looking forward to is the return of Welti students!  They are the reason we do what we do!”

April German, first grade teacher, Good Hope Primary School

“I attended a training this summer and learned many new things to do to supplement our reading program, so I am so excited to be able to try these new strategies this year! I also changed rooms, so I’m currently in the process of making my classroom feel like home to my new first-grade family.”

Sound off!

If you’d like to share with us, we look forward to hearing from you: teachers, administrators, counselors, band directors, coaches, Child Nutrition Program workers, bus drivers, SROs, central office, city, county, private…everybody! Check those questions and let us know what you’ve got going on.  

Working on cool hallway or classroom paint jobs, decorations or setups?  Send us pics!  

If you’re getting ready for something that’s too big for two little questions, feel free to introduce us to what you’ve got.  

Email craig@cullmantribune.com.  If you’ve got something we need to come see or someone we need to talk to, let us know and leave contact information, and we’ll be in touch.

Copyright 2019 Humble Roots, LLC. All Rights Reserved.


W.C. Mann