Alumna Shalonda Brinkley named Jefferson County Career and Technical Center’s Teacher of the Year

An educator that got her training at Alcorn State University is making significant strides with her latest accomplishment.

Shalonda Brinkley '14, who earned a bachelor's degree in child development, was recently named Jefferson County Career and Technical Center's 2021-2022 Teacher of the Year.

Accomplishing such an esteemed award in her young five-year career is significant to Brinkley, who teaches family and consumer sciences.

"I've only been teaching for a few years, but I've been blessed with wisdom, knowledge, and understanding that has helped me earn this year's award," said Brinkley. "I believe I have passed the first exam of my career, but I also know that my path is far from complete. Teaching has given my life meaning, and for that, I am thankful."

It is an honor for Brinkley to find success in a field where her passion lies.

"Cultivating young minds is what I cherish the most about teaching. The students are why I exist in the classroom; my skills and knowledge are useless without them. During my teaching experience, I have observed that every student is unique. Because of their uniqueness, I had to become a more diverse teacher and develop instructions to accommodate each individual's learning needs."

The path to this award presented obstacles for Brinkley. She reflected on working through the pandemic to serve her students.

"The challenges along the way have made me stronger than I was before. Although the last two and a half years have been difficult due to COVID-19, I was able to serve my students to the fullest capacity and provide them with the education they deserve."

Alcorn paved the way for Brinkley's achievement by providing her tools to become an exceptional educator.

"My time at Alcorn gave me the confidence to take on new challenges rather than flee from them. Alcorn prepared me for a competitive world and allowed me to learn from some of the best teachers in the world. Alcorn's professors and curricular programs have given me a wealth of knowledge and character."