NCTE 2022 Secondary Representative-at-Large - NCTE

High school English teacher, DeKalb County School District, Georgia; President and CEO, Xpressive Liberation: Literacy Consulting & Tutoring, Atlanta; MEd student, literacy education, Georgia State University. Formerly: literacy tutor for nine years; college prep instructor, Talent Search, Georgia State University. Areas of Expertise: contemporary African American literature, YA/children’s literature, popular culture and social justice integration in the ELA classroom, curriculum design. Memberships: NCTE, Georgia Council of Teachers of English (GCTE), ILA, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. Awards: 2021 NCTE EC-EOC Award; 2021 Star Teacher, McNair High School, Atlanta. Publication: Research in the Teaching of English editorial board (2022–2025). Program Contribution: presenting at NCTE programs.

How has NCTE provided a professional home for you?

NCTE provides a professional home for me by embracing who I am. When I entered this profession (2017), I thought I had to mimic other teachers I’ve seen in the past. I quickly realized I had to be myself. NCTE offers opportunities to embrace my identity as a Black, gay male living and teaching in Atlanta who loves pop culture and literature and to meet like-minded educators who embrace change in the classroom through the 2021 NCTE EC-EOC cohort.

How does your current work in your career, community, and/or classroom contribute to NCTE’s mission and vision, and demonstrate alignment with NCTE’s commitment to equity and justice? How have your personal strengths and experiences contributed to making positive change(s) in the profession?

My work contributes to the core tenets of NCTE’s mission and vision, mainly access and power. I encourage my students to become more aware of the power they possess while providing access to texts that they may have never seen. My personal experiences have contributed to positive changes in the profession by challenging the status quo. It’s imperative to create a representative curriculum so my students are seen in the texts we read, the projects we create, and the work we do to better ourselves.

What is your rationale for seeking this office? What would you like to accomplish while in office?

Given the current climate in education, I want to be a voice for English educators by representing them on the federal, state, and local levels. I want to empower educators by visiting their classrooms (in-person or virtual) to see how they are advocating for change in our students’ lives. I would like to provide professional learning sessions for new teachers on topics such as culturally relevant pedagogy, social justice, and mentorship throughout their first three years teaching.