- Cullman, Alabama

February 27, 2013

East Elementary wins state reading award

By Trent Moore
The Cullman Times

— For the second year in a row, the Cullman City School system has taken the top spot in the state reading competition. The winner for 2013? East Elementary School.

Superintendent Dr. Jan Harris announced the school received the International Reading Association’s Exemplary Reading Award in the State of Alabama at a special assembly late Tuesday morning.

Cullman Primary School won the award last year, narrowly beating East Elementary. East and West elementary schools were both nominated for the prize this year.

“I’m so proud we’ve been able to bring this recognition to our school system for two years in a row now,” Harris told the cheering students and teachers. “It’s truly an honor and speaks volumes about our teachers, reading coaches and students.”

East Elementary Principal David Wiggins said the win is a credit to the one-on-one effort of teachers and reading coaches in the system.

“Teachers, this is all about you,” he said. “It’s not about test scores or any of those numbers right now. This success is about your authentic approach to teaching.”

Sharon Windham, systemwide federal programs and curriculum coordinator, said the award is proof that a level of autonomy in local schools can be a very good thing with the right leaders in place.

“I’m so proud of all our students and the support we have from the school board,” Windham said. “They have allowed the schools to do what is best for the schools, and that is what has helped us soar.”

Trent Moore may be contacted at, or (256) 734-2131, ext. 220.