Award Year: 2013

West Jefferson Elementary School

4880 Freewill Drive
Quinton, AL, 35130-9121

(205) 379-5550

Brenda Cassady Ed.D., Principal at time of Nomination

Jefferson County Board of Education

School Website


To instill a love of learning and foster a positive work ethic that will enable students to become productive and responsible citizens.

Student Demographics
  • Black/African American: 1%
  • White: 94%
  • Hispanic: 2%
  • Native American: 1%
  • Two or more races: 2%
  • ELL: 2%
  • Economically Disadvantaged: %

West Jefferson Elementary is one of the smallest schools in a district of 56 elementary, middle, and high schools. The community of West Jefferson was, in years past, a booming mining town that hosted a high school and elementary school. The high school closed in the year 2000, due to low enrollment, but the elementary school still houses approximately 155 – 170 students each year. Over 60% of West Jefferson’s students qualify for subsidized meals.

Teachers made the commitment to become the best school in the state. With such a high goal came hard work. The teachers felt that if every student was looked at and treated as the individual they are, every student would reach high standards. Teachers began “prescribing” to the needs of the students.

Concerted efforts are made to include parents and community stakeholders in the everyday events of the school. Attempts are made to ensure that high levels of communication are practiced. It is a goal that parents and community members know they are valued and are welcomed.

District leaders have developed pacing guides and benchmarks that are aligned to the states Common Core standards. Teachers collaborate to ensure that every student is receiving instruction that is prescribed for individual needs. Teachers participate in high levels of professional development to ensure their practice is always up-to-date.

Over the past six years, standardized test scores have risen from being average (or below) to almost every student meeting or exceeding proficiency. In addition, discipline referrals have dropped over 80%, and family and community relations have significantly improved.