Chauncey Lane – seventh grade math teacher at Hickory Hill Middle School – stands before a class of eager students with their hands raised skyward. He has a big question about fraction multiplication and the hands are linked to minds eager to answer.
The classroom walls are stripped bare to lower distractions during end-of-year standardized testing. The exception is Lane's TCAP Hall of Fame. It's his way of recognizing students who have excelled in the mathematics portion of the state's comprehensive test, while motivating others.
This week (May 18-25) Lane is being recognized by the district and the Memphis community for his achievement in the classroom. He is part of the I Teach. I Am...an Irreplaceable exhibit. Six hundred teachers in Memphis City Schools will be honored daily through the multi-media exhibit at 75 S. Main from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Manassas High School principal James Griffin, who was challenged as a youth by the same type of economic trials his students now face, developed an idea to help dreams come true, not for some, but all of his graduating class.
On Saturday, May 25, at 5 p.m., 100 percent of Manassas' 12th graders and eligible 11th graders will graduate at the Cannon Center – not a small triumph since the principal inherited a 55 percent graduation rate in 2010 prior to his arrival.
Not only will his 119 graduates receive diplomas, each has already received at least two acceptance letters from post-secondary educational institutions that will lead to a career path.
A $5 million remodeling of Kroger's Whitehaven store at 1212 E. Shelby Drive already was being greeted as a welcome addition a full 24 hours before the official announcement on Thursday (May 23).
The store will remain open during the six-month renovation, which started this week.
"It's perfect timing. It needs modernizing, and they need to be aware of the younger people in the area," said Sabrina Simmons, who was getting gas at the recently opened Fuel Center on the Kroger lot Wednesday morning.
"For instance, you have Whitehaven High School less than five minutes away. They need to come up with displays, specials and products that they would like. Less of the sugars, candies and sweets; more healthier foods."
I've been a photographer for many, many years and nothing brings me greater reward than capturing the encounters between children and the world around them.
Last Friday (May 17), I got yet another chance to record the wonderment that takes place when young people encounter the new and unknown in a safe and secure environment.
The venue was the Landers Center in Southaven and the setting was the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus, which ran May 17-19. The circus' theme was "Fully Charged," which easily could have described the children's reaction before, during and after.
Elected officials, local celebrities, and business executives from across the city returned to the classroom April 29–May 3 to celebrate Teach For America Week. Each year, Teach For America Week invites community leaders to serve as guest teachers in public school classrooms, engaging and inspiring students. Athena Turner - Executive Director of Teach for America - Memphis spoke with TSD President and Publisher Bernal E. Smith, II, regarding Teach for America and its purpose.
BES: So tell me about Teach For America (TFA), for somebody not familiar with it. What is TFA? What are your goals, and what are you trying to accomplish?
Gone are the days where an invisible "Blacks Need Not Apply" sign branded the City of Memphis' business sector. Still, what is the difference between stating access and creating access for African-American and women-owned business enterprises, or "MWBEs" as they're called in the marketplace?
That was the dimes-to-dollar question as The New Tri State Defender returned (May 8 in City Hall) to the starting point for this series, the monthly meeting of the Minority Business Development Opportunity Commission (MBDOC).
Established by resolution, MBDOC – a seven-member volunteer group – cannot recommend the hiring or firing of any firm seeking business with the city. Its job is to review how the city's divisions are complying with the stated intent to legally and ethically spur MWBE growth and to, hopefully, recommend solutions to make the process easier.