Oak Mountain Middle School’s Jeffrey Norris Announced 2024 Alabama Teacher of the Year

Oak Mountain Middle School’s Jeffrey Norris Announced 2024 Alabama Teacher of the YearJeffrey (Jeff) L. Norris, an educator at Oak Mountain Middle School in Shelby County, has been honored as the 2024 Alabama Teacher of the Year by the state Board of Education in Montgomery. Norris, distinguished for his dedication and innovation in teaching, was selected from a pool of 16 finalists for this prestigious accolade.

In his acceptance statement, Jeffrey Norris articulated his teaching philosophy, stating, “My beliefs about teaching center on three words environment, engagement and empowerment.” He emphasized the significance of connecting students to the world around them and employing captivating teaching methods to ensure their active involvement in the learning process.

Over the course of his career, Norris has served not only as a classroom teacher but also as an administrator, holding positions such as administrative assistant, assistant principal and school principal. He has been actively engaged in professional development and has shared his expertise through workshops focused on transforming classroom environments to optimize learning experiences.

Jeffrey Norris’s impact on his students was movingly expressed in their testimonials. One student, Saisha, remarked, “This was the best class! My friends, classmates, and Mr. Norris were more like my family.” Another student, Tessa, recalled Norris’s motivational quote given on the first day of class, sharing, “There is no elevator to success – you have to take the stairs.” This quote continues to inspire her journey.

Kevin Pughsley, a science teacher at Berry Middle School, was also recognized as the state’s Alternate Teacher of the Year. Pughsley echoed Norris’s sentiments, stating, “I believe in and teach my students the importance of a growth mindset.” He emphasized the value of fostering a supportive community within the classroom.

State Superintendent of Education Eric Mackey commended both Norris and Pughsley for their exemplary professionalism and commitment to education. He noted, “Both of these outstanding educators exemplify classroom excellence.” As the 2024 Alabama Teacher of the Year, Norris will serve as an ambassador for public education and is eligible for the National Teacher of the Year award.

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