skip to main content
Teachers of the Year 2017-2018
Posted On:
Monday, December 12, 2016

12/12/16 - Congratulations to Homewood City Schools’ 2017-2018 Teachers of the Year. A committee of teachers, administrators, and community members selected Lisa Littlejohn as Homewood’s Elementary Teacher of the Year and Michele Cooley as Homewood’s Secondary Teacher of the Year.


Hall-Kent Elementary School

Lisa Littlejohn was chosen Teacher of the Year for Hall-Kent Elementary School. She has been teaching for 18 years and has been the gifted specialist at Hall-Kent since 2013. Littlejohn was also selected as Homewood City Schools’ Elementary Teacher of the Year. She is a National Board Certified Teacher, has served on the school’s Building Vision Team, and was a 2014 Homewood Foundation’s Teacher Impact Award winner.

Principal Kiana Coleman said, “Lisa is invested in students’ lives. Her personal characteristics such as patience, consideration, good judgment, and tenacity are admirable qualities. She continuously looks for ways to make learning exciting and meaningful for her students in order to enrich their experience in the Gifted Program. Her mission is for all students to receive engaging, relevant lessons.”

Edgewood Elementary School

Brooke Braswell was selected as Edgewood Elementary School’s Teacher of the Year. Braswell has been teaching for 12 years. In the past, she has served as a fourth grade teacher at Edgewood, and she is currently teaching second grade. Braswell is a certified district trainer for Project CRISS, a cooperating teacher for Samford University Interns, and a member of the Technology Advisory Committee.

Former Assistant Principal Jan Dulin said, “Never outspoken or overbearing, Brooke quietly leads by example in developing a meaningful practice that inspires teachers and students alike. I found her not only to be a gifted teacher, but also a tireless advocate for the students entrusted to her care.”

Shades Cahaba Elementary School

Emily Dunleavy was honored by being named Shades Cahaba's Teacher of the Year. She has been teaching second grade at Shades Cahaba for five years. Dunleavy has served as an instructional coach and mentor to new teachers and is a member of her school’s Visionary Committee. She was also named a 2015 Teacher Impact Award winner by the Homewood Foundation.

Second grade teacher Karen Cooper said, “Emily is not only creative when planning lessons, but she is also an innovator. She is always looking for new ways to teach concepts so that her teaching is not stale for her students. Her enthusiasm and zest for keeping things exciting is contagious and a blessing to those around her. Most things Ms. Dunleavy sees as ‘just doing her job’; however, it’s not just a J-O-B to her, it is a mission, a calling, and an adventure.”

Homewood Middle School

Kevin Hughes was selected as the Teacher of the Year for Homewood Middle School. He teaches eighth grade math and is the sixth grade math team co-coach. Hughes participates in UAB Teach as a mentor teacher for Pre-Service math education students, and he has been a leader in the adoption of the middle school’s new Tier II math intervention program.

Assistant Principal Cristin York said, “Mr. Hughes has successfully established a classroom environment that is conducive to student learning and growth. Not only do his students grow in their mathematical ability, but also as lifelong learners who are respectful of others, turn failures into successes, and are more self-confident.”

Homewood High School

Michele Cooley was selected as Homewood High School’s Teacher of the Year. Cooley has taught AP English at HHS for 4 years, and she was also selected as Homewood City Schools’ Secondary Teacher of the Year. She has 19 years of teaching experience including serving as a Pre-AP English teacher at Homewood Middle School. Cooley is the sponsor and creator of The Patriot Pride Ambassadors, and she is an instructional coach and mentor for new teachers.

Principal Dr. Zack Barnes said, “To be able to teach and teach well, one must acquire over time a variety of characteristics and traits that afford the educator the opportunity to be successful. Mrs. Cooley possesses more of those traits than any other educator with whom I’ve worked in the past 20 years. Mrs. Cooley is aware of the pulse of the school and wants everyone, both students and teachers, to challenge themselves to make Homewood High School a better place.”