Cullman County Schools names Salazar, Smith 2024 Elementary, Secondary Teachers of the Year 

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Left to right (front row) are Director of Instructional Programs Tonya Cupp and 2024 CCBOE Secondary Teacher of the Year Lucretia Smith; left to right (back row) are West Point High School Assistant Principal Shannon Anderson, West Point High School Principal Dr. Wesley Black, Superintendent Dr. Shane Barnette, Assistant Superintendent Richard Orr, Director of Federal Programs Angie Yarbrough, Elementary Curriculum Coordinator Margaret Guthrie and Secondary Curriculum Coordinator Kim Lindsey. (Cullman County Schools)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Cullman County Schools would like to congratulate the 2024 Elementary Teacher of the Year and the 2024 Secondary Teacher of the Year. 

Elementary Teacher of the Year: Kristy Salazar, librarian, Parkside School 

Left to right are Assistant Superintendent Richard Orr, Secondary Curriculum Coordinator Kim Lindsey. Shane Barnette, Superintendent Dr. Shane Barnette, 2024 CCBOE Elementary Teacher of the Year Kristy Salazar, Parkside School Principal Caleb Elrod, Parkside School Counselor Kim Crumbley, Director of Federal Programs Angie Yarbrough, Elementary Curriculum Coordinator Margaret Guthrie, Director of Instructional Programs Tonya Cupp and Parkside School RTI Coordinator Nanette Clark. (Cullman County Schools) 

Kristy Salazar is the librarian and Parkside School. She has 21 years of experience, with 19 of those years in the classroom setting.  

“Mrs. Salazar has been vital to integrating STEM education and includes these lessons in her daily library schedule,” said Caleb Elrod, Parkside School principal. “She is part of the leadership team and strives daily to ensure our students are granted the best opportunities.” 

Secondary Teacher of the Year: Lucretia Smith, math, West Point High School 

Left to right (front row) are Director of Instructional Programs Tonya Cupp and 2024 CCBOE Secondary Teacher of the Year Lucretia Smith; left to right (back row) are West Point High School Assistant Principal Shannon Anderson, West Point High School Principal Dr. Wesley Black, Superintendent Dr. Shane Barnette, Assistant Superintendent Richard Orr, Director of Federal Programs Angie Yarbrough, Elementary Curriculum Coordinator Margaret Guthrie and Secondary Curriculum Coordinator Kim Lindsey. (Cullman County Schools) 

Lucretia Smith teaches mathematics at West Point High School. She coaches the math team and has also taken additional courses in order to teach dual enrollment classes to her students.  

“Mrs. Smith creates a positive and supportive learning environment in which students feel comfortable taking risks and asking questions,” said Dr. Wesley Black, West Point High School principal.  

Smith also offers tutoring to her students before and after school. The math team she coaches has been Cullman County Grand Champion every year since 2005 and was crowned State Champion in 2018. She was voted Teacher of the Year by the student body last year. 

Cullman County Schools Superintendent Dr. Shane Barnette is always excited to celebrate the systems incredible educators.  

“I have visited Mrs. Salazar and Mrs. Smith’s classrooms multiple times and they both are exceptional,” said Barnette. “Not only are they effective instructors, but they love and care for their students and the students know that. Both ladies are perfect examples of the quality of individuals we have working for our school system. I wish the committee could have selected 20 teachers of the year because we have so many deserving educators.” 

Every school in the district was given an opportunity to nominate one teacher for consideration. The nominees were presented to a Central Office committee which chose the winners. 

Both Salazar and Smith will now prepare an extensive application to the Alabama State Department of Education to be considered for the Alabama Teacher of the Year. 

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