2021 Teachers of the Year

Teachers of the Year


Jefferson County Schools is proud to announce its 2021 Teachers of the Year.  

Elementary Division

Leah Singleton - Gifted Specialist at Chalkville Elementary School

Leah has seventeen years of teaching experience.  Five of those years have been spent in her current position.  Ms. Singleton firmly believes that all students have the right to be appropriately challenged and to learn something new each day. She is committed to building strong relationships with students, parents, and colleagues. In her role as a Gifted Specialist, she strives to provide her students with meaningful, relevant lessons while developing their individual talents and providing support for their distinct social and emotional needs. She continually pushes her students to take risks, cope with perfectionism, and persevere through challenges.


Secondary Division

Jacqueline Thomas-Edwards - AP, Advanced, and General Chemistry at McAdory High School

Jacqueline’s teaching career began sixteen years ago in Centreville, Alabama, where she taught life and physical science. She began sharing her love for science in and outside of the classroom, so she created a science club, sponsored a Girls Engaged in Math and Science University (GEMS-U) program, and sponsored a Community and Schools Together (CAST) program for gardening and engineering. In 2016, Jacqueline began a new chapter in her career by accepting a biology teacher position at McAdory High School. The very next school year she was given the task of teaching general, advanced, and AP chemistry. Jacqueline is a National Board Certified Teacher who continuously learns by attending professional conferences, participating in workshops, and conducting research projects. Jacqueline’s planning of various STEM virtual and in-person field trips is another way her students learn through real-world connections. Her love for science and education has allowed her to present lessons she has created with teachers from around the world at the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) conference.


Each year every school in the district awards a teacher of the year.  The Top 10 Finalists are then selected from that list.  The winners were announced Tuesday, March 9th during a virtual celebration.

“We are extremely proud of both of these teachers.  They set the standard for teaching in our district,” said Superintendent Dr. Walter Gonsoulin. “These individuals make a difference in students’ lives every single day.  They both personify what it means to be JEFCOED Strong.”

The winner in both the Elementary and Secondary divisions will now compete at the state level.