On April 27, MeckEd will honor 20 exceptional teachers, including Toye Watson of Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School. Toye has a unique bond to her students and their nearby Hidden Valley neighborhood: She grew up there, and loves it dearly.
“My life is a positive reflection of what happens when ‘the village’ raises a child,” Toye says.
Toye is the embodiment of MeckEd’s mission. The nonprofit group, backed by many of Charlotte’s biggest companies, seeks to ensure that CMS graduates have the skills and experiences to lead productive, useful lives. Toye graduated from West Mecklenburg High and received her education degree in 2011 from UNC Charlotte.
“I think being nominated is an incredible honor that speaks to what happens when community members feel compelled to come back and transform and aid the community that reared them,” says Toye, a language arts teacher who has been at MLK for three years.
An inspirational educator
Her principal, Jennifer Lee Dean, praises Toye’s confidence in her children’s abilities. “She has more than a hope – she has a belief that all of our students can learn at high levels and succeed at anything they choose in life. She was raised in our school community and knows that our students are destined for greatness in their community and beyond.”
MeckEd Teachers of Excellence are chosen based on principal recommendations and several other criteria, including student academic growth, the teacher’s mastery of instructional best practices, and the teacher’s leadership in her or his school community. Toye has demonstrated all three, Dean says.
“She takes time to truly know her students and has spent time immersing herself in various cultures in order to make deep connections with them,” Dean says. “She is an excellent educator and model for our staff and students.”
Come April 27 and celebrate with Toye and her ‘Excellent’ peers
MeckEd invites the community to honor and thank the 2017 Teachers of Excellence at a reception, dinner and awards presentation on April 27 at Hilton Charlotte Center City. The reception begins at 5:30 pm, followed by dinner and awards from 6:30 to 8 pm.