The Whole Truth & Nothing But the Truth, So Help Me Teachers!
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Meet the Dynamic Authors
Vicki Kirk-May is a 20-year-veteran educator in the State of Alabama. Vicki received a degree in Elementary Education with honors. With all that she has accomplished, her biggest accomplishment is her family.
Being a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and grandmother is true success to Vicki. She is driven by her passion and purpose to change the lives of children and educators. Known as the Passion Accelerator, Vicki believes that we all were endowed with gifts and passions to change the world, and that those gifts and passions should not be limited by the four walls of your classrooms, offices, or minds but unleashed to effectuate change in the world and lead you to your abundance.
As a result of Vicki’s beliefs and becoming so frustrated being in a state of complacency, she founded Passion Without Walls LLC., a business designed to support educators who are ready to take their passion beyond the classroom and church through entrepreneurship. The Passion Accelerator is a personal development, leadership and team-building strategist who goes into schools and churches to shape, form, and create strong leaders. Understanding that low teacher/leader morale is real and it does exist, Vicki supports educators as ministry leaders through personal development, leadership and team-building training.
Vicki specializes in helping educators and ministry leaders identify and gain clarity on their passion and monetize it. As a minister of the gospel, she finds fulfillment in helping others find person through the word of God and live the abundant Life that is their birthright.
Andrea Carvin Cockrell Gibbs has been teaching for a total of five years, both Pre-K and third grade. She grew up in the Bessemer, Alabama, and is a product of the Bessemer School System in which she currently teaches.
Andrea was born the second twin to Andrena and is the wife of Torrey Gibbs, a police officer of Bessemer City. They have two children together, 18-year-old Deandrea (from a previous marriage) and 7-year-old Torrence. They also have two daughters (from a previous relationship) Jahcelyn and Zahra.
Andrea is also the Youth Director of her church and attributes “Doers of the Word” Christian Outreach ministry for much of whom she is as an educator and her love for children. She loves to go on vacation, write and spend time with her siblings, family, and friends.
Carole Cramer-Banks’ passion for special education is evidenced by her varied experience, first as a Special Education Assistant for 5.5 years, and her ten years as a Special Education teacher. Prior to her current position as a Resource Specialist Teacher in a high performing charter school in Los Angeles, California, she worked in Pre-K to high school special education class settings.
Carole’s work with students with learning differences ranged from as mild as Specific Learning Disability (Difference) to as severe as Autism and Emotional Disturbance. It was during this time that she honed her teaching and classroom management skills and learned to not leave any child behind… no matter what their difference.
After earning her Bachelor’s in Human Development from Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, California, shortly thereafter, Carole earned her Education Specialist Teaching credential and Master’s in Special Education from Loyola Marymount University in Westchester, California.
Carole can be found diligently writing on her blog, Special 2 Me.
“I ABSOLUTELY love teaching!!!! I’ve wanted to be a teacher since the age of five. I am a passionate, highly qualified teacher with 17 years of experience teaching English and reading on the middle and high school levels. I love my students and often develop life-long relationships with some of them. During my career, I have had the honor to have been awarded the title Teacher of the Year twice, in December 2002 and in December 2017. I find it a blessing to love what I do and be appreciated for it. At this time, I have absolutely no desire to come out of the classroom.” – Dalila Spratt
Ms. Dalila Spratt is a Chicago native who moved to Birmingham, Alabama in 1993 to attend Miles College. There she obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Language Arts Education. Ms. Spratt went on to further her education by attending Alabama State University, where she received a Master’s Degree in English Education.
In addition to having a fiery passion for teaching, Ms. Spratt also has a passion for helping women, especially single mothers. She is currently working on a non-profit organization to help women “get up on their feet” by promoting education and jobs/careers that will render financial stability. Her passion stems from the realization that when you improve the way of life of the mother, you improve the way of life of the children.
Ms. Spratt is a mother of four sons. When she is not teaching, she enjoys spending time with her boys. She also enjoys reading, swimming (so relaxing), watching movies, and simply being in the company of those who exude good energy. Ms. Spratt loves to travel and goes home to Chicago every chance she gets. Also, she loves to laugh and has a great sense of humor! Now it is high time she puts the pen to paper.
Katherine Lyons Bester has been an Elementary Educator for the past 20 years, serving as a K-6 teacher for 14 years and 6 years as an Elementary Guidance Counselor. She holds a Master’s in School Counseling and Educational Administration, an Ed. S in Educational Leadership and is currently working on Doctorate degree in Educational Leadership.
Katherine refers to herself as a “Servant Leader” because she is driven by helping others. Katherine proclaims that her greatest accomplishments in life are being a Christian, a wife to her husband Darryl, a mother to her two daughters, Darian 21 and Dasia 14, the daughter of John and Violett Lyons, a sister, aunt and friend . These relationships mean more to her than anything.
Katherine, a recent Breast Cancer Survivor, lives by Philippians 4:13 and believes that she can do all things through Christ who strengthens her. She enjoys reading, writing and drawing. She is currently working on writing her own blog as well as writing and illustrating a children’s book.
Dr. Marquita S. Blades is a professional educator with 16 years of experience as a high school science teacher and manager of national STEM programs for high – achieving high school students. During her time working with public school districts, she also served as a curriculum & assessment developer, and professional learning facilitator for multiple school districts in the metropolitan Atlanta area.
Dr. Blades earned a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies in Broad Field Science from Georgia State University, a Master of Science in Technical and Professional Communication from Southern Polytechnic State University, and a Doctor of Education in Instructional Leadership from Nova Southeastern University.
Dr. Blades is currently a full – time educational consultant, the founder of The Mediocre Teacher Project, and the host of The Dr. Marquita Blades Show – Candid Conversations that Create Change, a radio show dedicated to discussing current issues in education.
Dr. Blades’ consulting firm offers solutions to learning institutions and individuals by through professional development programs, curriculum and assessment development, and conference development and programming services. When she is not working, Dr. Blades enjoys reading, cooking, and traveling with her husband.
Nicole Horston hails from Mansfield, Ohio, where she earned the title of Miss Black Mansfield 1990. Upon high school graduation, Nicole attended The Ohio State University where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Education and met her husband of 23 years, Antwan Horston.
She also holds a Masters of Education in Education Administration from Ashland University and a Masters of Education in Curriculum & Instruction from Franciscan University of Steubenville.
Teaching inner-city school students for the majority of her career, Nicole developed a passion for helping her students, pre-service teachers and fellow educators excel in and out of the classroom. She’s earned several accolades including a nomination for Teacher of the Year in 2011 and a certificate of appreciation by her school district for saving the life of a colleague in 2012.
Having to retire in 2013, Nicole began writing to help her cope with her new reality. Her debut book, Shades of You, showcases her commitment to helping women understand that, “No matter what you are going through always remember that tough times won’t last, but tough people do.”
Nicole currently resides in Columbus, Ohio, with her husband and son, Antwan J. Horston.
A professional in the field of Education and Child Development, Dr. Ragan Brown is personable, diligent, creative, detailed, an effective communicator and highly driven. She thrives on tapping into the interest of a child, and building on their strengths to help them unlock their potential.
An elementary educator of 9 years with expertise in English Language Arts, reading difficulties, and dyslexia, Dr. Brown graduated from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Pathology and Audiology. She later completed her Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Management from the University of Phoenix. Currently she completed her dissertation on Positive Youth Development and obtained a PhD in Early Childhood Development and Education.
Dr. Brown is a Louisiana native, and is best described as having the best of both worlds, the sweetness of a small town southern belle and the tenacity of a big city native. She returns to Louisiana often because of her strong family ties, appreciation of culture, and to satisfy her Creole food cravings.
Dr. Brown is a self-proclaimed travel geek and enjoys visiting various states and countries to indulge in the history, culture, and food of each unique place. It is her passion to one day educate and help other young girls and women who are also addicted to learning. When she is not busy with her studies, she is enjoying tea at a local tea house, having brunch with friends, reading a book, working on a craft project, planning a party for friends, or seeking a new adventure to scratch off her bucket list.
T.L. Blythers is a dynamic educator, author, entrepreneur, national educational consultant, & motivational speaker. Her platform, “V.O.W” 9 points of Impact, is a simple shared message of self inquiry, which requires individuals to radically change perspectives about their visions and goals in life. Ms. Blythers engages, empowers, educates, and encourages the audience by incorporating her practical, spiritually-based solutions, while integrating inspirational personal experiences.
Ms. Blythers is the owner of EduVizon, LLC, a company that provides empowerment education in the form of workshops and seminars designed to enhance and develop vision through positive goal setting for youths as well as adults.
This power house of wisdom and knowledge has educated thousands challenging individuals to dream BIG, catapulting them to a well-defined destiny. As a child advocate and author, her children’s book series “Mika Dika Foster Kid”, serves as a lighthouse of hope, providing a stronger resilient voice, not just for those in the foster care system, but for children globally.
Gifted as an educator, Blythers was awarded the title “Teacher of the Year” from the Muscogee Educational Excellence Foundation in 2002 and 2007. As a powerful, charismatic, and authoritative voice on vision, purpose, entrepreneurship, and empowerment, in 2011, T.L. Blythers was honored and recognized by the Minority Chamber of Commerce as one of Columbus Georgia’s 20 Top Women of Influence possessing distinction and leadership for longstanding commitment to the community.
T.L. Blythers stands firmly on the life principle, “You are a product of your expectations, not the limitations.”
Teresa is a dedicated professional with over 13 years’ experience in human resources and higher education administration. While she is talented in many things, she thrives in being able to empower her clients by connecting the dots through career development, human resource consulting, and training and development. She specializes in consulting, writing resumes, cover letters, conducting interview preparations, business biographies, and public speaking trainings and assisting her clients through the process of developing business plans.
Committed to growing and advancing in her field, Teresa holds a Master’s of Science In Human Resource Management, a Bachelors of Arts in Sociology with a minor in Communications, and currently holds her Professional Human Resources Certification. She is also a member of the Society For Human Resource Management.
One key trend that has remained throughout Teresa’s life is her passion for education, human resources and her ability to listen to the needs of others and identify the areas that need developing. Satisfaction in her career simply comes from doing her very best in helping others achieve their goals.
Wanna hear more from the authors? Watch this never-seen-before Round Table Discussion with Some of the Authors!
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