Powered by Business High Point — Chamber of Commerce and the High Point Community Foundation.

Extraordinary Educator: LaToya Terrell

Great communities have great schools. High Point Schools Partnership creates impactful connections between our schools and the wider community to ensure students and their families are supported and can reach their full potential in High Point schools.

Part of High Point Schools Partnerships’ mission is to improve the image of our schools through storytelling. Who better to tell the stories of High Point’s schools than the people experiencing it first-hand? In this series of articles, we will highlight our 2022 High Point Extraordinary Educators as we dive deeper into what keeps them motivated in the face of constant challenges.

2022 Extraordinary Educator: LaToya Terrell

LaToya Terrell started at Allen Jay Prep 3 years ago. She stayed, first and foremost, because of the administration team. Principal, Dr. Wheat, and Assistant Principal, Dr. Smith gave the staff at AJP the freedom to be teachers. They encourage creativity in the classroom, and they support you as a professional in every way possible.

Secondly, the 5th-grade team she works with is the BEST…  They have a genuine bond, so much so that they eat lunch together every single day!  😊  Lastly, She stayed because of the atmosphere that Allen Jay has.  With all the things that are going on with education today, Terrell can say that she truly enjoys coming to work and having FUN while teaching my 5th graders.  After coming to AJP, her career as an educator has been rejuvenated!

Dr. Kevin Wheat, the principal of Allen Jay Preparatory Academy, describes Mrs. Terrell as “an All-Star Teacher at Allen Jay Prep” and “a leader of other teachers.”

According to Dr.Wheat, Mrs. Terrell “Consistently engages her scholars at a high level, challenging them to think critically, anchor their responses in evidence from the text, and express their ideas in an articulate fashion.”

Mrs. Terrell wants her students to hear her say “Thank you!”  “Thank you for entrusting me with your education. Thank you for allowing me to be a small part of the person you are becoming.”

Q: What inspired you to become an educator?

A: Growing up, I used to love playing “school” with my cousins.  There was only one rule… I always had to be the teacher!  I have always enjoyed showing and explaining how to do things to other people, so I felt that being a teacher was what I was born to do!  I am usually a very quiet and reserved person.  The classroom brings out the best in me.  It’s where I feel the most confidence.

Q: What’s your teaching/leadership style?

A: My leadership style as a teacher…  I set boundaries and expectations early.  I create a certain level of respect between each scholar and myself and once those things have been established then the fun can begin!!  The scholars see me more as a “mother figure” and often say, “Mrs. Terrell, you sound like my mother!”  I have high expectations for each scholar, and I push them to that limit, but at the same time, they know I care!  

Q: Do you have a classroom motto or philosophy you abide by? Why?

A: My classroom philosophy that I try to instill in all scholars is to “put forth your BEST effort”.  I want scholars to know that if you have tried your very best, that’s all we can ask for.  My goal for this philosophy is to let scholars know that everyone’s “best” is different and that you are not in competition with anyone, but yourself!  I firmly believe that all scholars can succeed, but everyone’s success looks different…  This is why I encourage them to always put forth THEIR best effort in everything they do.   

Q: What’s your favorite part about every day?

A: The best part of every day is greeting my scholars at the door each morning. Arrival sets the stage for having an awesome day and I enjoy being a part of that.  Welcoming the scholars and giving them comfort in knowing that it’s a brand-new day and whatever happened yesterday is in the past.  Each day is a fresh start, so make it count!    

Q: What’s your most memorable moment as an educator?

A: One of the most memorable moments as an educator has been seeing my former scholars all grown up! I just finished my 19th year of teaching and I taught 2nd grade for 10 of those years, so I occasionally run into a scholar or their parents that I taught in second grade.  Seeing an adult version of someone that I taught all those years ago is so surreal.  And the fact that they still remember me or something that happened during that year is awesome.  Just to know that I had a small part of their growth is such a wonderful feeling!  

Mrs. Terrell is just one of High Point’s 2022 Extraordinary Educators. Tune in for the next few weeks to hear more stories and inspiring moments from our local teachers!

Thank you so much to LaToya Terrell for your dedication to High Point’s students. Congratulations on being selected as your school’s 2022 Extraordinary Educator!

To find out more about High Point Schools Partnership and our work, please visit our Facebook page and check out our page on Guilford Education Alliance’s website.

Article written by High Point Schools Partnership Staff