Brandi Caldwell- Technology Integration Specialist
Brandi was born in Columbus, Mississippi. She attended New Hope Elementary, Middle, and High School. The teachers she had during this formative time helped to inspire her to become a teacher herself. She attended Mississippi College on a cheerleading and academic scholarship where she planned on studying elementary education. After exploring her educational options and getting engaged to her high school sweetheart, she decided that secondary education was going to be her path. She married and moved to Birmingham to attend Samford University and major in language arts secondary education. While at Samford she became active in the theatre department and was named Most Improved Actress after her performance as Ouiser in Steel Magnolias. She achieved her B.S. degree from Samford in December 1995 and began immediately working on her Master's at University of Alabama at Birmingham (completed 1997).
She substitute taught and taught summer school before beginning her career in Jefferson County at Mortimer Jordan High School. She taught English 12 and started their Poetry Alive! group. She also coached the varsity cheerleaders. Her career then led her to Pinson Valley High School where she taught English 12, coached the varsity cheerleaders, led the theatre program, and did anything else that crossed her path. Her experience at Pinson really peaked her leadership skills. She began mentoring teachers, leading colleagues, and doing presentations throughout the state. She achieved National Board Certification in 2002. Brandi has been honored in many ways by her peers and her students including being named Pinson's Second Mile Teacher and being named to the Who's Who Among American High School Teachers.
Her career then took her to Mountain Brook City Schools. At Mountain Brook High School she taught English 12 and Debate. There she really focused on Schlechty's Design Qualities and helped colleagues develop lessons around these. She mentored National Boards candidates and presented at district foundation meetings and technology workshops. Her eyes were opened to the Dufour Professional Learning Communities concept while at Mountain Brook and while working with the Key Leaders Network through the Alabama Best Practices Center. She was selected as one of ten educators across the state to be a 21st Century Learning Fellow supported by the Alabama Best Practices Center and a grant from Microsoft. This work became a catalyst for her passion for technology integration. She continued presenting to teachers across the state as well as across the globe through online conferences, blogs, and virtual learning environments. She has become an avid blogger and evangelist for integrating technology and Web 2.0 tools in the classroom.
Brandi took a semester off after her the birth of her second child, and her family built a house in St. Clair County. She began teaching and serving as English Department Head at Moody High School in January of 2008. She served there for a year and a half and had an opportunity to work with technology and curriculum in writing an EETT (Enhancing Education Through Technology) grant for the district. The grant allowed the district to focus on teaching teachers how to use technology. Brandi was honored to become St. Clair County School District's first Technology Integration Specialist. While here she has been a part of an exponential growth of devices in the school system of over 8000 students. She works with faculty and administration in 18 schools and has been trained and taught an ACCESS web-based course. She stays busy juggling having a career, being a coach's wife, and being the mom to Trey, Brady, and Leilah.