Return to Headlines

Shades Cahaba Teacher Named Teacher of the Year Finalist


May 11, 2021 - Congratulations to Shades Cahaba English Language teacher Alli Phelps for being selected one of the 16 finalists for the 2021-2022 Alabama Teacher of the Year and the Alabama State Board of Education District Three Elementary Teacher of the Year. 


“I am so proud to have Ms. Phelps represents our schools and district at this level,” Homewood City Schools Superintendent Dr. Justin Hefner said. “She serves as a literacy leader within the school community, and she creates a warm classroom environment where her students feel special and important as they learn the English language and develop confidence in themselves as students.”


With 22 years of experience in education, Phelps has served as Shades Cahaba’s English Learner teacher for the past 12 years, and she previously taught at Homewood High School as an advanced placement teacher while also working with EL students.


Shades Cahaba Elementary Principal Dr. John Lowry said Phelps is a student-centered teacher who advocates for her current and past students and their families. “Ms. Phelps' life work is making a difference in the lives of her students, their families, and her community, and I see the impact she makes each day through her compassion, love, and kindness for others.”


The Alabama Department of Education release stated that highly skilled educators are essential to our state’s continued success. These educators inspire achievement, while also preparing our future generations of top professionals. These 16 outstanding educators, personify these qualities and exemplify the teaching profession’s best. Each excels in the classroom and inspires students through mentorship and by utilizing innovative classroom instruction. 


This year’s 16 state finalists have emerged from a group of over 138 highly skilled educators who submitted official applications. The Alabama Teacher of the Year Program is one of the state’s oldest and most esteemed awards programs. The 2021-2022 Alabama Teacher of the Year will be officially announced by the Alabama State Board of Education and the Alabama State Department of Education in August.