As a graduate of Spelman College and the University of Idaho, I began a lifetime career as an educator, beginning as a teacher of social studies and retiring as a teacher in a program for gifted students. During my career, which lasted for over thirty years, I endeavored to teach at the highest standards I could, encouraging students to be involved, to participate, and to develop an commitment to learning. My objective was to instill in my students the desire to achieve goals through initiative, planning, and sustained effort.
In trying to kindle and sustain the interest of my students, it was helpful for me to provide a wide range of learning situations and opportunities for individual and small group interaction. Some of these included writing projects, guest speakers, debates, mock elections, and special community projects. History and literature came alive, and lessons became less of a humdrum of yesterday as students began to see how they are a part of the societal development of mankind. I and my gifted class visited several countries in Europe. On my own, I have visited Alaska, Mexico, Russia, Canada, South America, Egypt, and Istanbul. Each visit provided a story and a lesson.
One of the special community projects for my class was an effort to refurbish the Statue of Liberty. The students raised $1500 in the effort. My students won several map contests with monetary rewards. In furthering my education, I have had the opportunity to serve as a data collector, a teacher consultant for Clark Atlanta University, and a National Geographic Teacher Consultant. I have presented projects at social studies and middle school conferences.
From proposals that I wrote, my school received over $10,000 in grants. The monies were awarded for classroom, school, and community projects which included the celebration of the Bicentennial of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, Georgia’s Role in a Global Society, and Investigating Growth in Cherokee County. Projects were displayed in the Georgia Capitol and in the office of the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Washington, and D.C. Projects were displayed in the Georgia Capitol and in the office of the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Washington, and D.C.
Some of the awards and honors I have received include: Cherokee County Teacher of the Year, State Social Studies Educator of the Year, Who’s Who among Educators, Thanks to Teachers Award, and The Atlanta Constitution Honor Teacher. State and local governments have honored me through resolutions and proclamations. My projects have been recognized by newspapers, television and radio interviews, and educational publications.
It has been my pleasure to serve on various educational and community committees during my career, including the Georgia State Social Studies Textbook Adoption Committee, and the committee to validate the history test for national teacher certification for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.
Presently, my civic and social activities include memberships with the Red Hat Society, The American Heart Association Red Dress Campaign, Pi Gamma Mu (Social Science Honor Society), and Phi Alpha Theta (History Honor Society). I have written a comical story of my life as a middle school teacher entitled, “The Tween Queen.”
I have been married for 39 years to Oscar, and we have two married daughters who are educators, Dr. Nicole Holmes and Sherri Brown, and four grandchildren.