Former HMS teacher transitions to 9th grade


New teacher McNelly instructs his fifth-period Biology class (photo by Nate Shull)

Nate Shull, Copy Editor

Of the 16 new teachers at Homewood High School this year, there is at least one familiar face. Joseph McNelly followed his 8th-grade students from Homewood Middle School last year up to the high school.

McNelly teaches freshmen biology after teaching physical science at HMS. Due to this timely move between neighboring grades, he says that he knows some of his students and can notice a difference between this year and last year.

“They had a sense of confidence and comfort as 8th graders that I do not see as much in the 9th graders,” McNelly said.

Speaking about his HHS experience thus far, McNelly claims that he loves both the school and his new subject. In his free time, McNelly loves being outside and also enjoys reading. However, McNelly’s all-time favorite hobby is music, claiming that “music is [his] jam,” and he plays both guitar and drums. 

Prior to joining Homewood City Schools, McNelly taught at Gardendale High School and Allen C. Pope High School in Georgia.

A 1999 graduate of Tuscaloosa County High School, McNelly claims that his alma mater is very similar to HHS socially, but not academically. “There wasn’t as much of an emphasis on academics, while Homewood is academics first,” McNelly said. Another notable difference between McNelly’s high school experience and ours today is that he was only required to have three math credits for graduation. Now, however, all students in Alabama are required to have a total of four math credits. 

McNelly loves teaching biology and he is familiar with teaching high school students, making him a great fit at HHS.