MBS Names 2020-21 Performance Award Winners
Kimi Blanton, Drew Jackson and Mary Catherine Anderson recognized.
Mountain Brook Schools has named its performance award winners for the 2020-2021 academic year. Performance awards are distributed annually to spotlight professional excellence among MBS teachers, specialists, supervisors, and support staff.
Crestline Elementary School Spanish teacher Kimi Blanton is this year’s recipient of the Ann Pritchard Award for Teaching Excellence. The award honors the memory of longtime Mountain Brook Board of Education member Ann Pritchard and represents the highest level of recognition in the MBS Professional Incentives Program.
Blanton has been in the Mountain Brook school district for 21 years and has served as a full-time Spanish teacher at Crestline since 2003. She played a key role in developing the district’s elementary Spanish curriculum and creates immersive learning experiences for her students.
“Kimi helps others, never stops learning, and is always reinventing herself as an educator,” Crestline Elementary Principal Christy Christian said. “She lives, breathes, and gives back to our community daily, and is a true example of someone who blooms where they’re planted.”
Mountain Brook Junior High math teacher Drew Jackson is this year’s recipient of the Margaret Spencer Ragland Award. The award recognizes a professional staff member for superior contributions above and beyond the call of duty and is sponsored by the Mountain Brook City Schools Foundation. The award was established in memory of Margaret Spencer Ragland, a member of the MBHS Class of 1980.
Jackson has been at MBJH for the past eight years and teaches both eighth-grade pre-algebra and ninth-grade geometry. He also holds numerous other roles throughout the school, including public address announcer at MBJH football games, and inspires both students and fellow teachers to reach their full potential.
“Mr. Jackson is an incredible teacher who always manages to put his students first,” MBJH Principal Donald Clayton said. “The connections he makes and the relationships he builds at MBJH are invaluable. We’re lucky to have him as a part of our faculty.”
Mary Catherine Anderson is this year’s recipient of the Promise of Excellence Award. The award honors an educator with five or fewer years of teaching experience and is sponsored by former Brookwood Forest Elementary teacher Diane Waud and her family. Anderson has served as a special education teacher at MBE for the past five years and already has made a significant impact on the school’s culture with her unwavering enthusiasm.
“We are most in awe of the way her positivity changes the mood of an entire room just by her presence. You will always see her smiling, laughing, and naming the good in something negative,” MBE Principal Ashley McCombs said. “In addition to the bright light she shines on every situation and her commitment to learning, we have witnessed first-hand her ability to take initiative and emerge as a leader.”
The school system distributes several other performance awards to both certified and support staff for their hard work and dedication. A list of recipients is below.
Certified Performance Awards
Brookwood Forest: Tracy Cole, Sixth Grade
Cherokee Bend: Robyn Gaut, First Grade
Crestline: Amy Anderson, Academic Intervention
Crestline: Amanda Johnson, Fifth Grade
MBE: Monica Slaughter, Spanish
MBHS: Jesse Creech, Spanish
MBHS: Cindy Rysedorph, Special Education Lead Teacher
MBHS: Christy Stamps, Mathematics
Support Performance Awards
Brookwood Forest: Christy Durban, Bookkeeper
Cherokee Bend: Bridget Lee, Head Custodian
Crestline: Knight Sauls, Special Education Aide
MBE: Dana LaRussa, Instructional Aide
MBHS: Nikki Harkins, Counseling Department Assistant
MBHS: Sonia Montana, Technology
Central Office: Sandra Overstreet, Lead Nurse
MBHS: Lori Beasley, Business Education
MBHS: Morgan Chatham, Mathematics
MBHS: Dr. Paul Kustos, Mathematics