Ask for More Jackson Recognizes Ten JPS Teachers as 2021 Outstanding Educators

Ask for More Jackson celebrated ten Outstanding Educators from the Jackson Public School District who inspire hope, ignite imagination and instill a love for learning in scholars. A generous anonymous donor through the Outstanding Educator Award Funds for the Community Foundation for Mississippi makes this award possible each year. The awardees may use the funds for professional or personal purposes.

“There are so many outstanding teachers in the district, and we commend them all for their dedication and commitment to educating scholars,” said Gwen Gardner of Ask for More Jackson. “We thank and appreciate teachers for planting the seed of knowledge that continues to grow.”

2021 Ask for More Outstanding Educators

Regina K. Carpenter, a first-grade teacher at Smith Elementary School, has 21 years of teaching experience. Carpenter holds a master’s degree in education. She has been named Teacher of the Year at Galloway and G.N. Smith and Employee of the Month at Watkins, Smith and Galloway.  She had perfect attendance at Smith Elementary in 2020. She also volunteers at the local library with all of their educational showcases/activities. Congratulations to Ms. Carpenter and her principal, Mrs. Stephanie Wilson.

Mautoyia Cooper, a ninth-grade teacher at JPS-Tougaloo Early College High School, has 28 years of teaching experience in education. Cooper holds a master’s degree in  School Leadership and Administration. She received Teacher of the Month in 2011 and 2018 and has served as Science Fair Coordinator since 2000. Congratulations to Ms. Cooper and her principal, Dr. Chinelo Evans.

Christopher Evans, a 9th-10th grade Algebra I and Foundations to Algebra teacher at Callaway High School, has 21 years of  teaching experience. Evans holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics Education. He received the Metro Jackson Teacher of the Year award in 2018 and the Callaway Teacher of the Year award in 2013, 2018 and 2020.    Mr. Evans is an Independent Educational Consultant and a NAACP Mentor at Tougaloo College. Congratulations to Mr. Evans and his principal Dr. Shemeka McClung.

Shelia Gibson, a first-grade at Boyd Elementary School, has 37 years of teaching experience and holds a master’s degree in education. She has been selected as Teacher of the Month and Teacher of the Year at Boyd.  Gibson is a member of the NAACP and the American Legion Auxiliary. Before the pandemic, she was also a tutor at Friendship Baptist Church. Congratulations to Ms. Gibson and her principal Mr. Joseph Collins.

Tisithia Knotts, a second-grade teacher at Bates Elementary School, has two years of teaching experience and holds a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction. She serves as a new teacher coach for grades K-2 through the Ignite Initiative which Bates is implementing this school year. Knotts teaches remedial learners as well as learners who are showing academic improvement. Congratulations to Ms. Knotts and her principal, Mr. Stephen Johnson.

Christopher Little,  a 9th-12th grade band director at Jim Hill High School, has 17 years of experience in Education. Mr. Little holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees of music in Education and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy in Music Education. He received the 2014 Mr. Holland’s Opus Award, the 2015 City with Soul Music Award for “Most Outstanding Marching Band” and many other awards throughout his career. Congratulations to Mr. Little and his principal Mr. Bobby D. Brown.

Kurtina Maholmes, a K-5th grade music teacher at Sykes Elementary School, has five years of experience teaching music. She holds a bachelor’s degree in vocal performance and is presently pursuing her Master of Music Education degree. She received the Schulwerk Teaching Approach Certification in July of 2021. Ms. Maholmes has participated in mission work rebuilding churches and schools through the Kingdom Culture Organization. Congratulations to Ms. Maholmes and her principal, Ms. Tantaneishia Houston.

Shanita M. McDonald, an interventionist at Galloway Elementary School, has 16 years of teaching experience and holds a Specialist degree in Education. She is a first-year teacher in the Ask for More Arts Program, has received Teacher of Month and is a JPS Mentor Teacher. She is a very active member of Multi-Tiered System of Supports team where she is always willing to analyze individual student data to drive instruction. Congratulations to Ms. McDonald and her principal Mrs. Linda Murray.

Wanda Moses, a fourth-grade teacher at Marshall Elementary School, has 12 years of teaching experience in education. She holds Bachelor of Business Administration degree and completed her 4-8th grade certification through the Master of Arts in Teaching alternate route program at Jackson State University. She received Teacher of the Year in 2015 and was a NEA/MAE Teacher Leadership Fellow in 2019. Congratulations to Ms. Moses and her principal, Dr. Rachea Williams.

Kandace Taylor, an eighth-grade teacher at Brinkley Middle School, has six years of teaching experience in education. She holds a Master of Arts in Teaching degree and serves as the lead science teacher at Brinkley. She was named Teacher of the Month in 2018 and Mentor of the Month for JPS for August 2021. Congratulations to Ms. Taylor and her principal, Mr. Jeffrey Mumford.

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