Jefferson County Schools Announces District’s Teachers of the Year

Lewis and Riley

JEFCOED and the Jefferson County Schools Education Foundation announced Tuesday night that Grantswood Community School’s Andrea Riley (elementary division) and Gardendale High School’s Alex Lewis (secondary division) are the 2022-2023 Teachers of the Year.


Riley Banner


Andrea Riley teaches kindergarten at Grantswood.  Mrs. Riley is responsible for “Mad Science Thursday” with a focus on hands-on learning.  She believes that hands-on learning and student involvement are the keys to successful teaching.  Her educational philosophy is that a strong teacher can have a lifelong influence on the success of a student beginning in kindergarten.



Alex Lewis teaches social studies, Holocaust studies, psychology, and AP psychology at Gardendale High School.  Mr. Lewis volunteers with the marching band and is the sole sponsor of the student government organization.  He also coaches varsity girls soccer and varsity boys tennis.  Mr. Lewis believes heavily in civic engagement and takes every opportunity to encourage students to be involved in local and national politics.

Lewis Banner


“I would like to thank both of these teachers for their commitment to our district and their students.  I sincerely appreciate their efforts and their passion for education.  What they do on a daily basis makes a difference in students’ lives,” said Dr. Walter Gonsoulin, Superintendent.

Both Riley and Lewis will now go on to compete for Alabama Teacher of the Year.




Teachers of the Year

Teacher of the Year Finalists:

Elementary (Pre-K through 6th Grade): 

Amanda (Mandy) Duckett - 3rd Grade, English/Language Arts Bryant Park Elementary

Dana Shepard - 2nd Grade, General Studies Minor Community

Yohna Mills - 6th Grade, Math & Science Irondale Middle

Lauren Moore - 5th Grade/ELA History Snow Rogers Elementary

Andrea Riley-  Kindergarten Grantswood Community


Secondary (7th through 12th Grade):

Ivy Bishop - Computer Science & Mathematics Shades Valley High

Allison Dotson - 8th Grade Science North Jefferson Middle

Madison Harris (Gary) - 8th Grade Mathematics, McAdory Middle School

Alex Lewis - 10th-12th Psychology, AP Psychology, Holocaust Studies Gardendale High

Maggie Raspberry - 9th Grade World History, Advanced World History, AP Psychology Clay-Chalkville High