S. Michelle Salls
S. Michelle Salls
Michelle was born and raised in the urban city of Memphis, TN. Her grandmother was a prominent influence in her education. She urged her to take advantage of the education that African Americans were once deprived. S. Michelle heard stories of her grandmother struggling after being left to raise four children alone; the eldest of those four children being her own mother who dropped out of school to birth her first child at a young age.
Mrs. Salls watched her mother work in the fast food and retail industries for many years. She knew that she could not accept a life of working long hours for mediocre pay. This helped her understand the importance of receiving an education; for her it was an outlet to change her situation by creating a better future for herself as well as for her family.
During Michelle’s junior year of college she took an education course and it changed her life. She discovered that she loved children and decided that the Education field was where he would fulfill her purpose. Although it was too late for her to change her major she went on to graduate and research different alternative licensure programs. Meanwhile, she worked for Girls Incorporated of Chattanooga as a Program Coordinator for a conflict resolution program housed in multiple urban schools within the city. Employment with this business inspired Mrs. Salls to start her own nonprofit organization. A team composed of her and two of her colleagues developed Minority Empowerment Incorporated to serve as an aide to minority communities promoting education as the foundation of a successful community.
Salls currently teaches high school English II and III in Antioch, TN. She has been awarded “Teacher of the Month” and “Most Organized Teacher” titles since her arrival in 2010. She has also served as a co-coach for the Forensics and Debate Team, and assisted with starting Kurdish Achievers within her school. She currently holds the position of English Department Chair.
Despite the stigma society has placed on inner city schools, Michelle believes that many of tomorrows leaders will derive from this setting. She believes all children must be motivated and this motivation occurs when educators believe in their students’ dreams just as much their own aspirations.
S. Michelle’s hope for instruction and curriculum:
Relevant, realistic and creative project-based instruction students identify as meaningful.