Vestavia Hills Living

2018

Official magazine published by the Vestavia Hills Chamber of Commerce for the City of Vestavia Hills which details the quality of life, education, shopping and lifestyle of Vestavia Hills.

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S Since its founding in 1970, the Vestavia Hills City Schools system has maintained a long reputation for excellence. As the system's seventh superintendent takes the reins this year, he aims to continue leading the schools on a path of greatness, even while navigating a number of exciting changes. Todd Freeman took over as superintendent of the Vestavia Hills City Schools in March 2018, after serving as superintendent of the Sylacauga City Schools and as a teacher and administrator in the Auburn City Schools. "My wife and I have always held a high regard for Vestavia Hills," Freeman says. "The community has a wonderful reputation across the state, as one of the top performing systems in the state in academics, arts, and athletics. It was evident to us during our interview process that the values of the community are those that are important to us. Our school system's beliefs echo the importance of those values, which include faith, hard work, trust, diversity, and community." G E T T I N G A C Q U A I N T E D When Vestavia Hills Living spoke with Freeman, he had just completed his first month leading the school system— and he was enthusiastic about his new role and the existing staff and infrastructure. "The teachers and supporting staff are passionate about the mission of the school system," he says. "Their enthusiasm is evident in the meaningful ways they focus on providing the best learning environments for our children." During his first month, Freeman was able to spend time observing classes in the schools, attending the annual math banquet, and the monthly Chamber luncheon. "These are a few of the many examples of the intentional focus on recognizing excellence in Vestavia Hills," he says. "We are looking forward to participating and engaging in many more events as part of the Vestavia Hills City Schools family and the fabric of the community." Superintendent Prepared to Lead Schools Through Season of Change M A K I N G C H A N G E S Over the course of the next year, Freeman and other school leaders will be focused on planned changes to accommodate recent growth. Those changes include rezoning elementary schools, reconfiguring all elementary schools to include grades kindergarten through five, preparing the new 9th grade school, completing new construction, and reorganizing staff to prepare for the changes to take place when school starts in August 2019. "These plans require a great deal of planning and engagement of stakeholders to be successful," Freeman says. "I look forward to the process and the ultimate outcome of improving the learning experiences for our students." L O O K I N G A H E A D As he plans to lead Vestavia Hills City Schools into the future, Freeman's priority goal is to implement the system's strategic goal to ensure that the system has the support framework in place to accomplish its mission of "Learning Without Limits," he says. "Our mission provides the impetus to continuously evaluate what we should maintain, improve, or change in our system as we strive for excellence." In looking to the future, Freeman is conscious of the past and the dedication and commitment of an entire community to make its schools great. "The school system is a shining star because of the commitment of community partners, staff, parents, and children to be intentional about making education a priority," Freeman says. "High performing schools do not happen by accident; they require engagement from all stakeholders who share the goal of excellence. I look forward to embracing the opportunities that are ahead for our system with a meaningful and collaborative approach." New 2 0 1 8 v e s tav i a h i l l s l i v i n g 37

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