Today’s episode features former Shades Cahaba teacher Laure Estes. She started her career as a first-grade teacher but quickly switched to kindergarten, where she spent the rest of her career. If you went to Shades Cahaba when she taught there, you would know her as Laura Matthews. I initially reached out to her about a connection I heard that she had to the owl that is on the top of the school. She may or may not have had the owl as a neighbor. You will have to tune into that episode when it airs.

Laura’s mother, Kernie Ardillo, was a P.E. teacher at Shades Cahaba in the 1950s, and her father, Nick Ardillo, was a 15-year member and chairman of the Homewood Board of Education. He served on the board during the expansion of Shades Cahaba and the move of the entrance to the back of the school.

We had a great conversation about her time at the school and growing up in Homewood. I thought she should get her own episode of the Shades Cahaba Oral History Podcast.