Congratulations to the 2021-2022 Teacher of the Year Nominees!
Clark Elementary: Mrs. Denisha Streeter (Fifth Grade)
Mrs. Denisha Streeter got her academic start in the rural town of Ashland, Alabama. After excelling in band, and winning numerous awards in cheerleading, softball, and academics, this student-athlete graduated with honors from Clay County High School in Ashland, AL in the spring of 2000. She attended Jacksonville State University on a Leadership Scholarship, and received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Sociology from there in 2004. In the spring of 2010, Mrs. Streeter entered the Master of Arts in Elementary Education program at The University of Phoenix Arizona. She completed the master’s program, magna cum laude, with a 4.0 GPA in 2012.
Now in her 8th year of teaching fifth grade at Clark Elementary School, this wife, mother, and Lupus Warrior is still a passionate and thriving educator fighting relentlessly for the future of her scholars! Each year brings new challenges, new adventures, and new successes. Her teaching philosophy remains the same; her purpose is to do everything within her God-given ability to promote, encourage, and sustain student growth and development in her classroom and beyond, and to positively impact every child within her reach. -No Excuses!
Edgewood Elementary: Mrs. Kendra Murray (First Grade)
Compassionate, creative, and committed are just a few attributes that reflect the true essence of Mrs. Kendra Murray. Mrs. Murray is a passionate first grade educator at Edgewood Elementary School in Historic Selma, AL. She earned her Bachelors of Science in Education from Alabama State University located in Montgomery, AL. In addition to her Bachelors, Murray is currently pursuing her Masters in Elementary Education. Mrs. Murray has been employed for Selma City Schools for a total of seven years. During those seven years, she has taught both kindergarten and first grade. Secondary to her classroom responsibilities, she serves as lead teacher of first grade, mentor teacher, and grade level chairperson. Her commitment to excellence propels her to go the extra mile to meet the individual needs of all scholars. Murray stands firmly on the words of educator Rita Pierson, Every Child deserves a Champion, an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and insists that they become the best they can possibly be. Yes, the job is tough, but it is not impossible. She is an educator. She was born and anointed to do it. She is operating in the gift that God gave her. She is married to Christopher Murray, and together they have three growing boys, Caleb, Carson and Dylan.
Knox Elementary: Erica Lumpkin (Physical Education)
My name is Erica Denisia Lumpkin. I am honored and humbled that I have been chosen for Teacher of the Year at Knox Elementary School. Truly we are Team Knox exemplifying the essence of hard work, dedication, and compassion for students. In addition to contributing my heart into educating students, my mission is to be an everlasting force to drive students to be innovative and successful adults.
For the past seven years I have been happily employed by Selma City Schools System. At the present time, I serve two schools within the school district. First, at Knox Elementary I carry the title of Physical Education teacher. However, I collaborate with colleagues to incorporate cross curricular specifications for student mastery in all seven classes (K-5). Secondly, I am the head basketball coach at RB Hudson STEAM Academy. In the same fashion, I collaborate with my middle school peers to discuss and assist with academic, physical, and emotional needs of the Lady Bulldogs.
Prior to employment at Selma City Schools, the prestigious HBCU, Alabama State University, played a major role in my collegiate career. I acquired a full athletic scholarship to play Division I Basketball as a Lady Hornet. Eventually, I graduated in the Fall of 2012 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Physical Education. Notably, I obtained a Master’s of Science in Physical Education in the Fall of 2020. I am a product of this school system graduating from the Selma High Class of 2007. Overall, my career, athletic, and academic accomplishments can be attributed to my loving and nurturing family.
My hometown is Orrville, AL. My parents are Maggie and Alphonso Lumpkin. They instilled in me compassion, integrity, resilience, motivation, perseverance, and commitment. It is important to mention that my family is comprised of educators. My brother, Eric Edwards, was the former Teacher of the Year at Locust Grove Middle School in Henry County Public Schools, McDonough, Georgia. For these reasons I was inspired to make a positive impact in the lives of students and the community. In conclusion I believe that “God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. I Pete 4:10 NLT ”
Payne Elementary: Keonta Melton (Reading Specialist)
My name is Keonta Williams Melton. I am a graduate of Concordia College Selma, where I earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education. I earned my Master’s Degree in School Counseling at University of West Alabama and currently completing the degree plan for Instructional Leadership at the same University. I have had the privilege of being a part of Selma City Schools at Payne Elementary since 2006. After spending eight years teaching the 5th grade, I was excited to expand my role at Payne Elementary, as the Reading Specialist. I am a 2018 recipient of the National Board Certification Teacher Grant and I am currently seeking certification. I enjoy reading and being a mother. I am a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Together with a team of amazing and creative teachers, I am committed to providing students instruction with a loving and developmentally sound foundation for a lifetime of learning.
Sophia P. Kingston: Kimberly McKinley (Fifth Grade)
My name is Kimberly McKinley, and I am the fifth grade teacher at Sophia Phelena Kingston Elementary School. I am from Marion Junction, AL and a product of the Dallas County School System. I am a 2013 graduate from Concordia College Alabama where I received my B.S. in Elementary Education. In 2020 I received my Masters in Elementary Education from Faulkner University. For the last eight years, seven in Selma City Schools, I have been able to pass my knowledge on to a number of great scholars on a daily basis. I love being able to help my scholars reach their fullest potential in everything that they do. It is my hope that every scholar I interact with learns from me just like I learn from them, as they are the reason I strive to get better at my craft as an educator on a daily basis.
Meadowview Elementary: Alicia Smith (Third Grade)
My name is Alicia Wright Smith. I have taught in the Selma City School System for thirty-two years. I am a third grade teacher at Meadowview Elementary School, where I have taught for the past five years and attended as a student myself. Teaching virtually this year is different, but it still gives me joy everyday seeing the “aha” moments on my students’ faces and knowing that I am making a difference.
I am a member of AEA and the Selma Charity League. I am a 1989 graduate of Auburn University at Montgomery with a M.Ed. in Elementary Education. When I am not teaching, I enjoy spending time with my family, shopping and painting. I am a native of Selma, where I reside with my husband Leon and our Shih-Pooh, Zoie.
School of Discovery-Kathryn Salzman (History/ELA)
Kathryn Saltzman has been committed to educational equity since 2014. While attending Princeton University, she served on the board of Community House, a program for K-12 youth in the local Princeton area. After graduating in 2018, Saltzman decided to continue her fight for educational equity by joining Teach For America and moving to Selma, Alabama. She started her career as a 7th grade English Language Arts teacher at R.B. Hudson S.T.E.A.M. Academy, where she infused the standards-based curriculum with design-based thinking projects that focused on students’ critical thinking and creativity. After completing her two-year commitment with Teach For America at RBH, Saltzman valued the relationships she built through her teaching, coaching, and involvement with community organizations such as the YMCA, so much that she decided to stay in Selma. Reflecting on her first two years as a teacher, Saltzman realized that students in the Black Belt lacked a space for creative expression, as well as networking opportunities in the creative fields. This led Saltzman to co-found Black Belt Youth Arts Collective, an after-school art program for young people in rural, Central Alabama. In 2020, she accepted the position of 6th grade English Language Arts/Social Studies teacher at School of Discovery. She took virtual learning’s challenges head on, focusing on innovation and student-engagement. She utilized interactive tools, maintained peer-to-peer collaboration, and integrated current events into the A+ content so students could simultaneously practice their language skills and process their experiences in our unpredictable world.
R.B Hudson STEAM Academy: Monica Russell (7th Grade Accelerated Math/Math Coach)
Monica Russell is a 7th grade math teacher at R.B. Hudson STEAM Academy and a native of Selma, AL. As an advocate for student success, she is determined to ensure that students gain the knowledge and skills to prepare them beyond tomorrow. With the advancement of technology and unknown future advancements, she believes students should have the opportunity to learn in a classroom that has high expectations, embraces change, encourages innovation, and fosters creativity. She firmly believes that students have the ability to be great (regardless of background) if they are given opportunities to form ideas, think, and are held to high expectations.
Although Ms. Russell did not start her career in teaching, she discovered her passion and purpose as an educator. She strives daily to motivate and inspire students to dream big. She uses her skills as a Master Level Social Worker to build relationships with families and students to create productive learning environments, where all students can excel. She also uses her skills gained as a social worker to advocate for students and other teachers, secure resources, and create sound solutions.
Selma High: Katrina Logan (Mathematics)Katrina Logan grew up in Selma, Alabama and graduated from Selma High School in 1986. She graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice in 1990. After working in the Criminal Justice System, she decided to go back to college where she earned a Master of Education in Elementary degree from Alabama State University (ASU) in 2001. In 2014, Katrina graduated from ASU with an EDS in elementary education. She has a Class B Certification in both Middle School Mathematics and Secondary Mathematics. She is an Alabama Math Science Technology Initiative (AMSTI) trainer. She is also an Adjunct Math Instructor at Selma University. Katrina began her teaching career in the Perry County School System for nine years before moving to Selma City School System. Katrina has been teaching for 22 years.