King honored as Mill Creek’s ‘Teacher of the Year’

MADISON – Shemeaka L. King is Mill Creek Elementary School’s 2020 “Teacher of the Year.”

“I was literally in tears and overwhelmed with gratitude and joy,” King said about receiving her title. “Being honored for something you simply love doing feels absolutely amazing!”

King earned bachelor and master’s degrees from Alabama A&M University. A teacher for 21 years, King first taught at a private school and then at West Madison Elementary School for eight years. She transferred when Mill Creek opened in 2009 to teach kindergartners. She now teaches second-graders.

She leads professional development and serves on committees for HOUSE Leadership, technology, DIBELS and summer reading; with MCS Elementary Leadership Team and Re-entry Task Force; Girls on the Run coach; and as grade-level chairperson and mentor.

“A teacher must be flexible and prepared to overcome obstacles. When schools closed due to COVID-19, district teachers and leaders overcame one of the biggest obstacles in our career,” King said. “We came together across the district, shared online resources and provided the support needed.”

“I’m still amazed … we met needs of each of our students’ academics (and) personal needs,” King said. “I’m surrounded by greatness at Mill Creek … that saying now goes for district teachers and leaders.”

This year, one student – extremely shy and challenged at making friends – showed impressive determination to grow socially, King said. The girl struggled to communicate with King about concerns with other students and not understanding a lesson; she didn’t participate during class discussions.

“I spoke to her about the importance of communicating with me … the only way I would know if she had issues,” King said. “I witnessed her determination to speak/participate more during whole-group instruction, make friends and play with other students. She let me know about ANY issues with friends or even personal mistakes/poor.”

The student became verbal constantly. By yearend, her mother emailed King “expressing how much growth she had seen in her socially since being in my classroom. This is an example of things I find rewarding and impressive.”

Shemeaka’s husband, Curt King, owns C&SK Cleaning and Maintenance, LLC. Their children are Brittni, 22; Curt, 19; Corey, 17; and Cameron, 12.

The Kings are active in New Life Seventh-day Adventist Church and lead Couples Ministry. She has been Sabbath school teacher and Lower Division Superintendent for 10-plus years. Curt is a deacon and usher.

Using the handle “Fit for 2nd” on social media, Shemeaka shares her love of teaching and collaboration with educators across the country. She has spoken about “First Week of School Teacher Tips,” “Women’s History,” “Black History” and “Race in Education.”

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