McAlilly named Teacher of the Year

Daily Journal

TUPELO – A gifted education teacher who finds each of her students amazing was chosen as the Tupelo Public School District's Teacher of the Year.

Pam McAlilly, who teaches fifth-grade Challenge classes at Carver Elementary School, said she was humbled to receive an award that so many teachers deserve.

“Teaching is a journey,” said the 20-year veteran teacher. “It takes a journey to make a teacher.”

The 20-year veteran of education said becoming a National Board Certified Teacher has been her greatest professional accomplishment, and she now mentors other teachers pursuing the certification.

“She is truly an inspiration to her students, teachers and parents,” said Board of Trustees president Shawn Brevard as she announced McAlilly's selection.

Brevard saluted all 14 school Teachers of the Year. The teachers of the year are nominated by the colleagues at each of their schools.

“I know this is the greatest honor for them because they received it from their peers,” Brevard said.

The district teacher of the year is chosen by an outside committee who reviews their applications for the Mississippi Teacher of the Year.

McAlilly said her core beliefs as a teacher are that each student is amazing and that she strives to create a classroom culture where each student is valued.

“I touch the future, I teach,” she wrote to describe her teaching philosophy.

In supporting McAlilly's selection as teacher of the year, one former parent wrote about the experiences his son had in McAlilly's classroom.

“He told me that she taught him how to think beyond the boundaries of a typical sixth-grader,” the parent wrote.

This will be McAlilly's last year at Carver Elementary, where she has taught since 2001. In next year's reorganization, Carver will house kindergarten through second grade. She will find out her next school later this year.

“It's a great experience to teach at Carver,” McAlilly said. “The history is so rich.”

Contact Michaela Gibson Morris at (662) 678-1599 or

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