Alabama State University alumna Dr. Kenya N. Greer is known for bringing unique strategies to the classroom, making a major impact on the academic success of her students.
Now, that reputation has garnered Greer the 2015-16 Teacher of the Year award for Fickett Elementary School in Atlanta, Georgia.
“This award is an additional confirmation that I am an educator and servant leader that is (humbly) making a difference every day in the lives of young minds,” Greer said. “Our children of tomorrow must be nourished with multiple opportunities to live bold, to live healthy and to make a change in their own environment.”
After researching Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” Initiative, Greer thought “outside the box” to enhance her classroom and to transform her school’s way of thinking about healthier living in the formative years. She said she integrated teaching the state’s Common Core standards with her own style in the elementary setting.
“I have made many testing gains and growth by implementing organic gardening, healthy eating with our extensive kitchen cart and inviting amazing community leaders into my classroom to tackle difficult skills and standards,” she said.
Much of Greer’s knowledge comes from experience. The 1997 ASU graduate has been an elementary educator for more than 17 years. She worked at Fulton County Schools for 10 years before joining the school system in Atlanta in 1998. Throughout her career, she has been honored for her commitment to education. She was awarded the 2012-13 Teacher of the Year for Cascade Elementary School, received the Atlanta Families Awards for Excellence in Education, received the 2010 Michaels Foundation honor and was awarded the 2004-05 Teacher of the Year for Stonewall Tell Elementary School.
Greer, a self-described “military brat” who spent most of her teenage years in Europe, believes much of her professional success as an educator can be attributed to the foundations and guidance she received at ASU. She said it was because of professors like Dr. Jacqueline D. Myers in the Business Education/Office Administration Department that she was able to adjust and adapt to her new college environment.
“In the beginning, the struggles of adapting to a new culture were a challenge for me,” Greer said. “Dr. Myers’s caring spirit and mentorship continuously kept me encouraged and pushed me to greatness. Even after her retirement in 2009, we still regularly communicated and connected. After 33 years of service to ASU, her love and dedication still reminds me of why I love my ASU.”
Greer always is ready to pass down what she learned at ASU to current and future Hornets as they transition into the workforce and adulthood.
“Always allow your hard work and dedication to speak for itself, strive for greatness in every situation and give back and look back with a smile… as you make a difference in your community,” Greer said.
“As an ASU Hornet, we should always ‘pay it forward’ to bless others and inspire lives. It is important to give back to our schools, communities and families. We can give in multiple ways. You can give money, expertise or time. ASU has taught me to live my life to the fullest. The enriching history of ASU, Montgomery and the South has motivated me to impact future children to take more risks and to become leaders in their communities.”
Source: Timothy C. Ervin, Alabama State University