Cullman City Schools – Alabama

April 22, 2024

Cullman City Schools

Empowering Tomorrow’s Innovators


A successful stem education model geared for the new economy

Cullman City Schools, situated among 132 school districts in Alabama, is recognized as a cornerstone of education in the region. Located east of the intersection of Interstate 65 and US Highway 278, Cullman City Schools enjoys a strategic position midway between Huntsville and Birmingham. The city’s allure has been recognized by Bloomberg Businessweek, which hailed it as one of Alabama’s premier spots to raise children.

The district comprises five schools and caters to over 3,000 students. From Cullman High School (Grades 9-12) to Cullman City Primary School (Pre-K-2), each institution plays a vital role in shaping the academic journey of youth in north Alabama.

Recently, key district figures, including Kyle Kallhoff, Superintendent; Emily Hines, Elementary Curriculum Coordinator; James Brumley, Chief Financial Officer; and Lindsay Brannon, Director of Career and Technical Education, shed light on their collective vision for educational transformation.

From fostering personalized support for students to strategically managing resources and championing STEM education, Cullman City Schools embodies a culture of holistic development and student empowerment. With a persistent focus on cultivating academic excellence and preparing students for future success, the district’s philosophy resonates far beyond the classroom walls, shaping the trajectory of countless lives within the community.

STEM Education and Career Readiness

Through a carefully crafted K-12 STEM education curriculum, the district fosters a love for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, encouraging essential skills and experiences that propel students toward rewarding careers in STEM-related fields.

Brannon provides insights into the district’s multifaceted approach to STEM education and its alignment with local workforce needs. At the heart of Cullman City Schools’ STEM initiatives lies a commitment to providing students with a well-rounded education that prepares them for success in an increasingly technology-driven world.

Beginning in kindergarten, students are immersed in hands-on STEM activities that foster curiosity and creativity. Weekly STEM classes and dedicated maker space rooms offer opportunities for exploration and experimentation, laying the foundation for future learning. From coding exercises to robotics projects, students are encouraged to think critically, solve problems, and collaborate with their peers—a skill set essential for success in STEM fields and beyond.

As students progress through the grades, the district’s STEM curriculum becomes progressively more sophisticated, reflecting the evolving needs of the workforce. In middle school, students are introduced to various STEM courses, including STEM technology, cybersecurity, computer science, and health science. These courses expose students to emerging technologies and offer insights into potential career pathways, igniting their passion for STEM disciplines.

At the high school level, programs offer a variety of STEM pathways tailored to students’ interests and career goals. Whether pursuing computer science, cybersecurity, engineering, or health science, students are provided with rigorous coursework and hands-on experiences that prepare them for post-secondary education or entry into the workforce. Through partnerships with local industries and businesses, students can access internships, job shadowing opportunities, and real-world projects, allowing them to gain valuable insights and experiences that bridge the gap between education and employment.

Brannon emphasizes the district’s commitment to expanding access to STEM education through various initiatives and programs buoyed by substantial grants. Summer STEM camps, extracurricular clubs, and STEM days provide additional opportunities for exploration and engagement, fostering a culture of curiosity and lifelong learning.

Notably, Cullman City Schools has secured $997,384.88 in grants since 2021, primarily dedicated to building STEM classrooms from elementary through high school and embedding STEM into the foundational wellness of all students K through 12, including a significant $400,000 grant.

Transforming education through strategic investments

In the evolving education landscape, where adaptability and innovation are key, Cullman City Schools sets a high standard with its comprehensive capital improvement plan. Kallhoff emphasizes the role of the school board in driving these initiatives forward.

“At the heart of our capital plan is the integration of dedicated STEM spaces into each of our school campuses,” Kallhoff explains. “This forward-thinking approach aligns with our commitment to providing students with cutting-edge educational opportunities and reflects our recognition of the growing importance of STEM fields in today’s economy.”

The capital improvement plan, spearheaded by Brumley, is a multifaceted endeavor to address the district’s current needs while laying the groundwork for future growth and development. Brumley elaborates on the strategic utilization of capital investments to support a wide range of initiatives and programs that benefit the entire school community.

“In 2021, the Cullman City Board of Education unveiled a comprehensive capital improvement plan designed to address our evolving educational landscape,” Brumley elaborates. “One of the central objectives of this plan is the reconfiguration of our grade levels to create a more cohesive and efficient educational environment.”


Board of Education and Superintendent

Positive infrastructure changes

Brumley breaks down the various phases of the capital improvement plan, highlighting key projects reshaping the district’s infrastructure to serve its students better. At Cullman Primary School, for instance, a new wing was constructed to accommodate the relocation of second-grade classrooms. This project, completed in October 2023, provided additional classroom space and included essential amenities such as a tornado shelter, cafeteria kitchen, and multipurpose room.

“By strategically investing in our primary and middle school campuses, we’re able to create modern, well-equipped facilities that support our students’ academic and extracurricular pursuits,” Brumley notes. “From expanding classroom space to enhancing recreational areas, these projects are designed to enrich the overall educational experience for our students.”

Looking ahead, the district is embarking on additional phases of the capital improvement plan, including the construction and renovation of the West Elementary Campus to accommodate all third through fifth grade students.  This campus will become Cullman Intermediate School. With an investment of $24 million, this project represents a significant step towards modernizing the district’s infrastructure and ensuring all students have access to high-quality educational opportunities.

“Through strategic investments in infrastructure, we’re not only creating a more conducive learning environment but also fostering a sense of pride and belonging within our school community,” Brumley emphasizes. “By investing in our future, we’re laying the foundation for a brighter, more prosperous tomorrow for our students and the broader community.”

Nurturing quality education through talent recruitment

Cullman City Schools prioritizes innovative programs and facilities and strongly emphasizes attracting and retaining top-tier educators. Kallhoff illuminates the district’s involved approach to talent recruitment, highlighting the unique incentives and opportunities that set the district apart.

“Being part of a winning team certainly helps attract talent,” Kallhoff acknowledges. “But beyond that, we offer a range of benefits and incentives designed to attract the best educators to our schools.”

One of the cornerstones of its recruitment efforts is the recognition of the district’s outstanding performance. With consistently high rankings and accolades from state publications, Cullman City Schools has earned a reputation for distinction, making it an attractive destination for educators seeking to make a meaningful impact.

“We don’t just say we’re one of the best school systems in Alabama—we back it up with results,” Kallhoff emphasizes. “And that resonates with educators who want to be part of a dynamic, high-achieving community.”

In addition to its stellar reputation, Cullman City Schools offers various benefits and incentives to support educators and enhance their professional development. Kallhoff highlights the district’s commitment to supporting national board certification, a prestigious credential that demonstrates a teacher’s commitment to excellence in teaching.

“We’re proud to have over 20% of our teachers nationally board certified,” Kallhoff notes. “And we go above and beyond to support them, providing financial supplements, professional coaching, and reimbursement of certification fees.”

Moreover, Cullman City Schools prioritizes its educators’ well-being and professional growth by offering competitive salaries, additional personal days, and comprehensive insurance coverage. The district’s commitment to supporting educators extends beyond the classroom, with funding for tutoring initiatives, extracurricular activities, and sports programs.

“We want our educators to feel valued and supported in their roles,” Kallhoff explains. “That’s why we offer a range of incentives and opportunities to help them thrive personally and professionally.”

Focus on early literacy

Hines highlights the district’s focus on early literacy as a key factor in its success. With a strong emphasis on professional development and evidence-based practices, the district has achieved remarkable results in developing its students’ early literacy skills.

“We’re fortunate to have educators and leaders committed to ensuring that our students have the support they need to excel,” Hines explains. “Through programs like the Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling (LETRS), we’ve been able to equip our teachers with the tools and strategies they need to foster early literacy skills effectively.”

The district’s dedication to early literacy has not gone unnoticed; with Cullman City Schools consistently ranking among the top educational systems in the state, the district’s commitment to early literacy yields tangible results and sets a strong foundation for student success.


A holistic education approach

Brannon highlights the district’s holistic approach to preparing students for post-secondary success. By offering a diverse range of STEM pathways, internships, and industry partnerships, Cullman City Schools ensures that students are exposed to real-world applications of their learning and are equipped with the skills and experiences necessary for success in college and career.

The dialogue among Kallhoff, Hines, Brumley, and Brannon illuminates a vivid portrait of Cullman City Schools’ visionary path ahead, defined by innovation, collaboration, and dedication to student-centered learning. As the district forges ahead, navigating the ever-shifting landscapes of education, its equity stands firm, ensuring that every student is empowered to thrive and excel in an increasingly dynamic world. With a shared commitment to progress and inclusivity, Cullman City Schools continues to inspire and shape the future STEM leaders of tomorrow.

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Cullman City Schools

What:  Cullman City Schools intertwine STEM education and early literacy initiatives to cultivate well-rounded students primed for success in a rapidly advancing world.

Where: Situated east of the intersection of Interstate 65 and US Highway 278, Cullman is strategically located equidistantly between Huntsville and Birmingham.



Wallace State Community College –

Wallace State Community College is nationally-recognized as An Achieving the Dream Leader College and Caring Campus, a four-time Aspen Prize nominee, ranked by Southern Business and Development among the Top 3 institutions in the South for workforce development, named a Center of Excellence by the National League for Nursing and the National Security Administration, rated the Top Online Community College in Alabama, a Military Friendly Institution and an All-Steinway School. Wallace State is an outstanding place for students to pursue their education and career goals. Classes are offered online, on our 300-acree main campus and satellite locations, day, evening and on weekends, with numerous start dates each year. Learn more at, or call 256.352.8000.

Premier Bank of the South –

We have been so blessed over our 37 years that we feel that it is our duty to give back to the communities that allow us to serve them. Whether it is helping the local school systems with various needs that arise, supporting local festivals and/or contributing to charitable events, we take great pride in supporting our communities. If we can give support locally to show our gratitude, then it is our honor and privilege to do so.

Cullman Power Board –

Alabama Credit Union –

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