In Appreciation of Our Students’ Superheroes

“With great power, comes great responsibility.” – Uncle Ben to Peter Parker in Spiderman

I believe in the power of public education. In our classrooms, teachers can transform from an ordinary resident to superhero educator with the power to nurture original thinkers and create life-long learners. As educators, teachers can completely change the trajectory of a child’s life with knowledge. SHAZAM!

How appropriate then that the NEA adopted a superhero theme for the 2016 National Teacher Appreciation Week, conveniently timed after the comic book industry celebrated National Superhero Day on April 28 and before Hollywood enters its summer blockbuster season. But this week in Atlanta Public Schools, we celebrate real-life superheroes: TEACHERS! Fighting for Truth, Justice and the American Way! – Superman

Our teachers are the Supermen and Wonder Women of APS. I have seen this first-hand in our schools. (As shown in some of my favorite selfies pictured here.) These amazing women and men use their unique superpowers to shape and mold children so they can become anything they want to be. Through inspiration, support and love, these 3,000 teachers provide hope and teach skills to more 50,000 students in our classrooms every day.

We actually kicked off the celebration over the weekend with a Twitter giveaway of a ticket to the Beyoncé concert. (#APSBeyHive, congrats to Kay Scott @onesizefitsSLIM at Sylvan Middle!)

This morning, I participated in early voting on the E-SPLOST education referendum in honor of National Teacher Appreciation Week, and I encourage everyone to educate themselves (click here for details) and vote on or before Tuesday, May 24. At tonight’s Atlanta Board of Education meeting, we will take time to recognize National Teacher Appreciation Week.


Pam Hall, Chief Human Resource Officer, and Rebecca Kaye, our policy and governance ED, join me for the first day of early voting on E-SPLOST.

We continue celebrating throughout the week as I visit with teachers, tweet about STAR teachers (see below) and thank all of them for their great work.

It all culminates at the end of the week when I give away (so follow me on Twitter @ATLSuper) a cruise for two!  Holy Boats, Batman! – Robin

In APS, we celebrate our teachers every day as readers of this blog and my Twitter feed @ATLSuper know so well. Click on the names of a few of the outstanding teachers from this school year:

  • Scott Allen of Grady High School, District-wide Teacher of the Year
  • Emily Max of Toomer Elementary School, winner of $100,000 grant from Farmers Insurance
  • Carla McCall of Long Middle School, finalist for Fishman Prize
  • Sheakita Turner of Cascade Elementary School, a Special Education Teacher and one of many talented teachers who received a Donors Choose/Google Grant

And let us not forget our STAR teachers for the 2015-2016 school year, selected by this year’s STAR senior students as the educators who have been most instrumental in their successes:

  • Angela Bush, Mays High School
  • Dawana Conethan, Carver High School, Health Sciences & Research
  • Katherine Davis, South Atlanta High School of Computer & Animation
  • Thomas Dunn, South Atlanta School of Law & Social Justice
  • Candice Henry, Washington High School
  • Mario Herrera, Grady High School
  • Dana Johnson, Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Leadership Academy
  • Jacqueline Keeler, Jackson High School
  • Sajata Latten, Carver Early College High School
  • Christopher Manson, North Atlanta High School
  • Arthur Washington, KIPP Atlanta Collegiate High School

In celebration of National Teacher Appreciation Week, we want to thank all of our teachers for their hard work and dedication. Ka-POW!

Thank you to the teacher who makes the choice to continue in a profession that comes with long hours. You could have chosen many other careers, but you answer the call year after year to educate our future leaders.

Thank you to the teacher who sacrifices weekends and evenings to coach teams, chaperone field trips, sponsor clubs and tutor struggling students. You value the strength that comes from experiences outside of the classroom, and you want kids to have every opportunity to soar.

Thank you to the teacher who wakes up renewed, refreshed and ready to go, even if the previous day wasn’t the best and brightest. You understand that growth is in the struggle and that our kids are worth fighting for, each and every day.

And thank you to the teacher who stays on top of the ever-changing science behind education and meeting the needs of all students. You read, you research and you share your knowledge with your colleagues. That is powerful! That is SUPER POWERful!

Not only do we want to celebrate you, we want you to also celebrate with your colleagues. Be sure to follow me on Twitter as I shout out teachers throughout the week … make sure you use #ThankATeacher as you share your own photos and good wishes!

Happy National Teacher Appreciation Week!

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