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September's Pursuit of Excellence Winners


Pursuit of Excellence Awards Winners for September 2019

Congratulations to the following employees who are the September 2019 recipients of the Pursuit of Excellence Award for the Baldwin County School District.

Ms. Colleen Costello Teacher at Lakeview Academy

Ms. Costello joined the Baldwin County School District in 2018 and her co-worker had this to say about her. Ms. Costello has worked tirelessly to find ways to incorporate her students into all aspects of Lakeview Academy. She goes above and beyond what other teachers in the same type of classroom have done. She has organized the Friday Coffee Club to help her students have more interaction with others as well as to help boost the morale of the staff. She invites classes to come in and have story time as well as a few treats throughout the year. Ms. Costello is creative in her teaching, flexible in providing what is needed not only by her students, but by the entire school, and sets a great example to all at Lakeview Academy.

With the nature of her class, there are no teacher’s manuals to use to teach from, Ms. Costello has to be innovative in creating many of the materials utilized by her students. With this being said, she does an outstanding job of creating and providing the things that her students need in order to achieve the goals that they are working on. She is a great team player to collaborate with because of her positive attitude. Her attitude is one worth catching by all.

Ms. Costello is creative, positive, and always going out of her way to help those around her. She is a large part of what makes LVA the great place it is to work. Ms. Costello, thank you for your example of excellence!

Ms. Yuri Haynes Teacher at Baldwin High School Ms. Yuri Haynes has been working with the Baldwin County School District for over five years. She is praised by her co-worker as being a dedicated Math teacher, who wants her students to not only know the math skills but also to know how to apply them. She always has prepared lessons and activities that will help them to build their skills and confidence. She always extends encouraging words to her students. She is also the BHS volleyball coach, who is building quite a powerful team. She is always willing to help others. She gets the job done, although she is a wife, a parent of three children, and an excellent classroom teacher. Ms. Haynes, thank you for modelling excellence!

Mrs. Laura “Mandy” Hopkins Teacher at Midway Hills Primary School Mandy Hopkins has worked in Baldwin County for 23 years and his is what her co-worker has to say about her. Mrs. Hopkins is a first grade teacher at Midway Hills Primary School. She is always going the extra mile and working hard to make sure her students are getting the best, most engaging, fun learning experiences. She has a strong work ethic and you can always count on her to have a deep knowledge and passion for teaching first grade. She is organized and always prepared. She serves on our leadership team at MHP and you can always count on Mrs. Hopkins to share excellent ideas and suggestions. Other teachers at our school look up to Mrs. Hopkins for advice and support. She builds caring relationships not only with her co-workers and students, but also with her parents. Her expert communication skills makes her a leader! Mrs. Mandy Hopkins is an excellent example of what a teacher should be! Mrs. Hopkins, thank you for being a shining example of excellence!

Mrs. Julie Parmley Instructional Supervisor at The Early Learning Center

Mrs. Julie Parmley has over thirty-seven years of experience working in education. She joined the Baldwin County family in 1992. She was nominated by her immediate supervisor and this what Ms. Smith had to say. Mrs. Parmley is an instrumental part of the ELC. She supports teachers, parents and students. There is no job Mrs. Parmley will not do with a smile on her face. Mrs. Parmley will change diapers, take out the trash, mop up an overflowing toilet and hold a sick child at the same time and none of those things are even her job. She supports all teachers where they are new, experienced or struggling. She has an uncanny ability to win over the most difficult student and to deescalate upset students. Mrs. Parmley, thank you for modeling excellence!


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The Baldwin County School District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, genetics, disability, or sex in its employment practices, student programs and dealings with the public. It is the policy of the Board of Education to comply fully with the requirements of Title IX, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act and all accompanying regulations.