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The Thomas J. Joiner Award of Education Excellence was name after the late Tom Joiner, scientist, philanthropist, dedicated civic leader and longtime resident of Tuscaloosa who passed in March of 2019 at age 86.

Mr. Joiner believed in the power of education to change a life and acted on his belief daily.  He was a pillar of the Tuscaloosa Community and a business leader.  He was a permanent member of the Tuscaloosa Education Foundation Board of Directors and took his position very seriously by providing leadership in intentional ways.  We will be forever indebted to Mr. Joiner for his contribution to public education and our community.  Tuscaloosa Education Foundation wants to reward those exhibiting his altruistic values of family, education, connection and philanthropy. 

Award will be given annually by the Tuscaloosa Education Foundation.


2020 Recipient: Shelley Jones

On November 3, 2020, the Tuscaloosa Education Foundation announced the Thomas J. Joiner Award of Education Excellence recipient Ms. Shelley Jones.  Shelley has long been an active community leader and lifelong educator.  Her career in education began first as a teacher at Northington Elementary and then a principal at Woodland Forrest Elementary. She is the recipient of countless awards for her work in education including The University of Alabama National Alumni Association's Distinguished Alumni Award (2017), three-time State PTA Outstanding Local Unit in Alabama Award, District III Alabama Association Elementary School Administrators Distinguished Principal Award, State PTA Outstanding Elementary Principal of the Year, National PTA Phoebe Apperson Hearst Outstanding Educator Award Honorable Mention and Alabama National Distinguished Principal Award. After retiring, she served eight years as a Tuscaloosa City School board member. She is also serving the United Way of West Alabama as their 2020 Campaign Chairperson.


Congratulations to Ms. Shelley Jones!

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2019 Recipients: Dr. Mike Dara & Dr. Walter Davie

On August 19, 2019, the Thomas J. Joiner Award of Education Excellence was awarded to the first recipients, Dr. Michael Daria, Tuscaloosa City Schools Superintendent, and Dr. Walter Davie, Tuscaloosa County Schools System Superintendent. These superintendents have bridged the lines of school zones and worked together for the good of a community. We want to recognize their contributions to K-12 education in our community as well as their altruistic actions toward developing a community of excellence for future generations. 

Thank you, Dr. Daria and Dr. Davie, for working tirelessly to promote change and create one voice for Tuscaloosa. Your efforts have not gone unnoticed, and the Tuscaloosa Education Foundation celebrates you!

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