Nearly 4,000 educators attend Tuscaloosa’s Inaugural Unite for Education Celebration


TUSCALOOSA, Ala.  - Nearly 4,000 educators attended the inaugural Unite for Education Celebration at Coleman Coliseum on Monday, Aug. 7.


The back-to-school celebration was a joint institute day between Tuscaloosa City Schools and Tuscaloosa County Schools. Together, the two school systems have more than 4,000 educators and education support professionals who invest in the lives of approximately 30,000 students.


The event also acted as the Adopt-A-School kickoff, sponsored by Children & Teen Dental. Initiated in 1985, Adopt-A-School, a program of the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama, is a partnership between education and the business and private sectors of Tuscaloosa County. The purpose of the program is to utilize the human resources and talents of the business community to strengthen, enhance and enrich the quality of education in 65 public schools of the West Alabama Region.


“Adopt-A-School is continuing to expand to include public schools in our West Alabama counties,” said Carolyn Tubbs, the Chamber’s director of education programs. “Currently, we have partnerships in Bibb, Greene, Hale, Pickens and Marengo counties. When schools partner with Adopt-A-School, it enhances the educational experiences for their students,” said Tubbs.


Chamber President and CEO Kyle South and Chamber Board of Directors Chair Michele Coley presented the Adopt-A-School awards.


Bailey’s Tiger Rock Martial Arts and Taylorville Primary School were recognized for 20 years of partnership. The Decade of Excellence award, honoring 10-year partnerships, recognized the partnership between Big Sandy Elementary School, Bailey’s Tiger Rock Martial Arts and Chick-fil-A Tuscaloosa South and the partnership between the Beta Eta Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. and Oakdale Elementary School.


A vendor fair preceded the event, with 90 vendors present representing the community’s businesses and non-profit organizations.


Coley, of Allstate Coley Agency, said, “No one remembers their favorite insurance agent, but everyone remembers their favorite teacher.”


The event’s keynote speaker was Dr. Manuel Scott, an original freedom writer, whose story was portrayed in the hit MTV movie, “Freedom Writers.”


Special guest Mrs. Terry Saban shared plans of the Saban Center, as well as a message of encouragement.


The event was envisioned to bring educators together with the business community to celebrate and kickoff the new school year.


“On a daily basis, our teachers, administrators and support personnel are building the foundation for our children to become productive, successful citizens in this ever-changing world,” said South. “Best wishes and good luck as we approach the first day of school,” added South.


For more information, contact Carolyn Tubbs at




 The Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama is a Tuscaloosa County-based pro-business advocacy organization serving more than 65,000 working men and women through more than 1,300 business enterprises, civic organizations and educational institutions.


The mission of the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama is to provide the leadership, vision and catalyst for the advancement of the economic prosperity, business climate and quality of life for the entire community.