• After an unprecedented five-month closure, Mountain Brook Elementary resumed full-time, in-person schooling in August. Students and staff were thrilled to be back.  

    Fifth-grade student Stephen Brown said he was very glad to be back learning in-person and “seeing his friends in real life."  

    Second-grader Sam Druhan said he “loved being with his friends again.”  

    But it was not just friends that students missed. Students said they were excited to see the teachers and staff. Fifth-grader Richmond Brown said that one of the best parts about being back in school is “being in class with our teachers again.” And fourth-grade student Owen Ward agreed that being in the same room with the teachers was wonderful.

    Likewise, MBE teachers were very happy to be back with students again and no longer separated by a screen. Second-grade teacher Katherine Brown said she was so excited to start back that she had trouble sleeping before school began. Now, she said it is “wonderful to be back with the students and faculty” and is “enjoying working, learning, and building a classroom community together” with her students.

    Fellow second-grade teacher Colleen Varner said that it “feels good to be reunited with our students” and is hopeful this year will be “a learning experience for reflection, appreciation, and building empathy.”  

    MBE teachers, now more than ever, are grateful for the support of the MBE parents and community. Kindergarten teacher Kelsey Frey said that seeing her students’ “evident love for school makes me incredibly grateful for the value placed on education in this community.”  

    And first-grade teacher Joy Palmer said she is so grateful “for a school community that adapts quickly to change, learns together, and encourages one another.” 

    Fourth-grade teacher Loretta Rowan agrees that, despite all the challenges, everyone is helping each other, and “kindness, grace, and a love of learning are everywhere."

    MBE Principal Ashley McCombs said she saw this exhibited the first day when she observed a student apologize for not being able to help another student pick up his dropped belongings. She recounts being sad that this was the new reality, but also joyful that this young student knew help was needed.  

    She said that “this reminded me that we are Lancers who lead from the heart regardless of our circumstances! This year we will continue to lean into our touchstone like never before and find new, creative ways to serve and support one another."