Classroom Innovation and Student Leadership Displayed at Showcase of Schools

Oak Mountain High Pinnacle Choir
Oak Mountain High School A Capella Choir, Pinnacle, performed two songs for attendees at the Showcase of Schools.

Students and teachers from schools across the district recently highlighted why Shelby County Schools is known for educational excellence. 

The annual Showcase of Schools event, held February 9 at the Shelby County Instructional Services Center, provided community and business leaders with an opportunity to see firsthand the innovative classroom practices happening in all 31 schools. This year, the event was hosted by Will Ross, Student Government Association (SGA) president from Chelsea High School. Micah Swain from Shelby County High School sang the national anthem. 

Will Ross from SGA President from Chelsea High School hosted the event.
Micah Swain singing the national anthem.
Micah Swain sang the National Anthem to kick off the Showcase Event.

Students from schools across the district showcased innovative things happening in their schools and classrooms.

Students selected from each school community helped greet attendees and guide them through the interactive, student-led Showcase areas, highlighting innovative classroom examples, Career Technical Educational programs, Fine Arts, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). 

Following the showcase exhibit, attendees returned to the Shelby Room for a performance by Oak Mountain High School’s acapella choir, Pinnacle. The event concluded with a student panel which included students from all three grade spans of elementary, middle, and high school. The students answered questions about how the district is preparing them to be successful students and leaders, teachers or classes that have impacted them, and what adults need to know about helping students build resilience.

HIS student, Jawareen Hudgins, was one of several students who participated in a panel discussion.

Jawareen Hudgins, a student at Helena Intermediate School, had been selected to participate in the panel discussion after having also participated in a student mental health focus group at his school. District leaders were impressed with his answer to the question “what do adults not understand about what it is like to be a kid today?” and wanted him to share his answer with the Showcase of Schools attendees.

“Adults need to let us prepare ourselves for the real world,” Hudgins said. “Adults aren’t always going to be there to help us. You need to let us swim a little bit.”

Cassidy Reynolds, a Health Science student from Chelsea High School, agreed with Hudgins. She said that she feels parents should definitely support their children and be there to encourage them, but balance that support with plenty of opportunities to “swim a little bit” in order to grow and learn from those experiences. 

Brayden Farrington, a Calera High School senior who recently broke NFL defensive back Marlon Humphrey’s state record in the 400-meter dash, credited his teachers, coaches, and administrators for preparing him for his next steps after high school. Farrington plans to attend Auburn University and run track while majoring in education to become a school guidance counselor. 

The Showcase of Schools is hosted by the Shelby County Education Foundation and is sponsored by Regions Bank.

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