Position: Intervention Specialist
School: Leadership Preparatory Academy
School District: Dekalb County Public Schools
City, State: Lithonia, Georgia
About the Nominee: Kimberly Warren clearly, precisely and unequivocally defines the term "master educator." It is essential that a master educator not only has an impact on the learning environment within the classes that they work with, but that they also have an impact on the school culture. This can happen in sharing their passion through extracurricular activities, or their knowledge on strong teaching strategies with school colleagues. Ms. Warren demonstrates this each and every day by working collaboratively with her peers. It is important that teachers build connections, not only with students they currently teach, but with students they had in the past or may have in the future. Ms. Warren is often acknowledged and praised by former students regarding her compassion, drive, energy and knowledge. It is great to see teachers that connect with students they don't currently teach because it builds enthusiasm in that student to one day be in that same teacher’s class. All the aforementioned statements describe Ms. Warren.
It's clearly important that teachers are able to communicate with the students they teach, but what about their colleagues and parents? Sharing knowledge with colleagues is essential to the growth of the individual as well as the collective. Ms. Warren constantly and consistently keeps all stakeholders abreast of ongoing developments via emails, texts and her teacher website. She often says, "We are obligated to teach curriculum objectives, but we are also obligated in our profession to help students find their own spark in learning." Ms. Warren always looks for opportunities to tap into the ways that students love to learn and build upon that. She creates a spark in each student that will lead them to continued success and growth.
Ms. Warren has earned the mark of a "distinguished teacher" who has mastered a number of skills in four broad domains: planning and preparation, classroom environment, instruction, and professional responsibilities. She constantly encourages her students to think for themselves, ask critical questions and research the possibilities and alternatives for themselves. Most importantly, she encourages her students to never settle for simplistic, canned, oft-recited statements that serve as answers to our social and political problems.
No one can legitimately claim to be a Master Teacher. It is not a title that one can confer on himself or herself. The title is earned over time and comes from student accomplishments as seen and understood by people totally outside of your sphere of influence. A number of people have tried to claim the title, but they never accepted the responsibilities that always come with the designation, Master Teacher. We all know a true Master Teacher when we meet them. They never have to tell anyone that they are Master Teachers and they will not use that title to describe themselves. Ms. Warren is not only a Master Teacher; she is a LifeChanger!