Kemper County’s ‘Grow Your Own’ turns staff into teachers


From school reports 

On various campuses throughout Kemper County School District, seven classified employees participated in the district’s initiative to become certified teachers.  

“This is an exciting program that we started earlier this year as part of our Grow Your Own campaign,” said Hilute Hudson, superintendent of Kemper County School District. “All of our classified employees who participated this time are from the community, which means they have a strong understanding of our students and culture within our schools." 

The district is working in conjunction with the Mississippi Department of Education to allow classified employees to become certified teachers through successfully completing select Master’s level university course work and an internship. 

The program recruits teacher assistants, child nutrition workers, bus drivers, secretaries, and other non-teachers who already have a vested interest in the success of the Kemper students and trains them to become teachers as a way to combat teacher shortage in the state. 

Here are the participants in the program; their former positions; and what they teach now. 

-Cynthia Bourrage, a former teacher assistant is now teaching second grade at Kemper Lower Elementary; 

• Jimeka Dancy, a long -term substitute, is nnow a kindergarten teacher at Kemper County Lower Elementary; 

• Danzel McCoy, a teacher assistant is now an inclusion teacher grades9-12 at Kemper County High School; 

• Antoinette Cherry, a teacher assistant, is now a behavioral instructional teacher at Kemper County Upper Elementary School; 

• Kimkeisha Butler, a data clerk, is now teacher Middle School Technology; 

• Linda Pollock, a secretary, is now a Middle School ELA Teacher; and, 

• Keith Cole, a teacher assistant, now teaches Family Dynamics at Kemper County High School. 

“Our program elevates those who are already passionate about working with students,” said Hudson.  “Having a local qualified teacher in the classroom is significant to our student success as well as a huge achievement to all of our employees who completed the program.  I am very proud of them because this is a win for them, the district and our students.” 


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