Gulf Shores teacher selected as Alabama Teacher of the Year finalist


Krista N. Marcum, a science, Gulf Coast Ecology and Marine Biology teacher at Gulf Shore High School has been selected as the 2021-2022 District 1 Secondary Teacher of the Year. She is also one of 16 finalists for the 2021 -2022 Alabama Teacher of the Year.

Marcum obtained her bachelor’s degree in education from Indiana University, master’s degree in education from Indiana Wesleyan, and she achieved National Board Certification in 2017.

The Gulf Coast Ecology class is a unique class to Gulf Shores High School. Marcum was approached by Principal Cindy Veazey about starting a new environmental class that gets the students out into the environment to learn science. Assistant Superintendent Stephanie Harrison mentioned the unique program in the reference letter she wrote for Marcum.

“By actively seeking community partnerships, Marcum has provided her students with access to both research-based and citizen-level scientists who bring the textbook to life and who expose students to real-world problems as well as the hunt for potential solutions. Marcum has partnered with Auburn University, Little Lagoon Preservation Society, Walter Marine, Gulf State Park and more. Each of these relationships is an opportunity for students to vividly connect what they are learning to their own futures including possible careers and the health of our environment,” she wrote.

When asked what it meant to be selected as one of the top 16 teachers in the state of Alabama, Marcum said, “Being selected as one of the top 16 teachers in the State of Alabama is a dream come true. Working on the Alabama National Board-Certified Teacher Network (ALNBCT), I have been fortunate enough to work with and learn from former Alabama state teachers of the year. When I applied to be a board member with the network, I expressed in my interview that I wanted the opportunity to learn from such skilled educators and improve my practice. I have now worked my way to the position of president of the ALNBCT Network, where I am still learning from experts in the field.”

The pool of 16 educators will soon be narrowed to the final top four. 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.

Alabama’s teacher of the year spends much of the school year serving as a full-time ambassador for education and the teaching profession, as well as presenting workshops to various groups. Alabama’s representative is a candidate for National Teacher of the Year.

Reflecting on his experiences as the most recent finalist, and Alabama’s current Teacher of the Year, Dr. Andrew Jackson said, “Congratulations to these highly skilled educators, who have been selected to represent their local school systems and our regional education districts. Each of these Alabama Teacher of the Year finalists truly demonstrate outstanding classroom leadership and are elevating our profession to new levels of success.”

Alabama State department of education - 2021-2022 District Teachers of the Year

Julie Matranga Neidhardt

Mobile County School System - Hutchens Elementary School

District I Elementary Teacher of the Year

Krista N. Marcum

Gulf Shores City School System - Gulf Shores High School

District I Secondary Teacher of the Year

Sherlita Gilchrist

Phenix City School System – Phenix City Virtual Learning Academy

District II Elementary Teacher of the Year

Kimberly Johnson

Auburn City School System – Auburn Junior High School

District II Secondary Teacher of the Year

Allison C. Phelps

Homewood City School System – Shades Cahaba Elementary School

District III Elementary Teacher of the Year

Pamela McClendon

Hoover City School System – Riverchase Career Connection Center

District III Secondary Teacher of the Year  

Mashell Wehn

Arab City School System – Arab High School

District VI Secondary Teacher of the Year

Rachel Graves

Florence City School System – Weeden Elementary School

District VII Elementary Teacher of the Year

Jeff Schrupp

Trussville City School System – Hewitt-Trussville High School

District VII Secondary Teacher of the Year

Candilyn Renee Holt

Limestone County School System – Elkmont School

District VIII Elementary Teacher of the Year

Kierstan Bell

Huntsville City School System – Hampton Cove Middle School

District VIII Secondary Teacher of the Year

Sabrina Wright

Birmingham City School System – Sun Valley Elementary School

District IV Elementary Teacher of the Year

Leah Hughes

Tuscaloosa County School System – Hillcrest High School

District IV Secondary Teacher of the Year

Catherine B. Jackson

Pike County School System – Banks School

District V Elementary Teacher of the Year

Lilian U. Zekeri

Macon County School System – Tuskegee Institute Middle School

District V Secondary Teacher of the Year

Megan Kreitlein

Pell City School System – Eden Elementary School

District VI Elementary Teacher of the Year