Cullman City Schools selects Teachers of the Year for elementary, secondary levels

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(Cullman Tribune file photo)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Cullman City Schools has selected its Teachers of the Year at the elementary and secondary levels. April Dean (elementary) and Christopher Smith (secondary) are the educators named to the top accolades. Dean is a fourth-grade teacher at East Elementary School, while Smith is the director of bands at Cullman High School.

The all-star teaching duo will now be in consideration for the District 6 Teacher of the Year, as well as potential finalists for State of Alabama Teacher of the Year later this spring.

”We are fortunate to have so many great educators in our system. Mrs. Dean and Mr. Smith are extraordinary educators who will represent us well,” Superintendent Kyle Kallhoff said. “The Cullman City School System is one of the best systems in Alabama. To be selected as the Teacher of the Year in one of the best systems in Alabama means that you are one of the best in our state. Congratulations to both of them.”

Cullman High School Principal Kim Hall, Daniel Boggan with recognition sponsor AmFirst Credit Union, secondary Teacher of the Year Christopher Smith and Cullman City Schools Superintendent Kyle Kallhoff. Photos provided by The Cullman Times. (Photo courtesy of Cullman City Schools)

In speaking to Smith’s career, Cullman High School Principal Kim Hall noted he has been a key influence in the lives of myriad students, passing on his love of music to the next generation.

“The arts bring beauty to our campus, and we’re just so blessed by his influence. He is an intense director. If you have never watched him conduct, you have missed out,” Hall said. “You should come see that, if not to enjoy the beauty of the music, then to enjoy the intensity of his instruction and his leadership. He demands excellence of his students. They are always on time, they are never late, and every performance is superior. He is a mentor, a coach and a father to many.”

East Elementary School Principal David Wiggins, Daniel Boggan with recognition sponsor AmFirst Credit Union, elementary Teacher of the Year April Dean and Superintendent Kyle Kallhoff. Photos provided by The Cullman Times. (Photo courtesy of Cullman City Schools)


East Elementary School Principal David Wiggins said Dean is one of the most innovative teachers he’s worked with, which is high praise cosidering Cullman City Schools is filled with excellent teachers at every level.

“Mrs. Dean’s classroom is a space for exploration, inquiry and discovery. During lessons, she is always in the middle of the action, guiding students to learn and motivating them to be their best,” Wiggins said. “The one quality that I believe personifies Mrs. Dean is joy. In all things, no matter the situation or circumstances, Mrs. Dean expresses joy in her profession, joy for her colleagues, joy in her school, and joy for her students.”