Leah Skinner has been named 2015-2016 Teacher of the Year at North Atlanta High School. The voting for the award took place during the week of April 20 and the strong endorsement for the Language Arts teacher came from Skinner’s faculty and staff peers.
A career in education has been a natural choice for an individual who has made it her life’s business to pursue learning. Her career as a teacher started in 2000 at Morningside High School in Inglewood, California. In 2005, Dr. Skinner relocated to Marietta, Ga., and continued her teaching at Campbell Middle School in Smyrna, Ga. Since then, she has worked at Westlake High School and Forest Park High School where she was an instructional coach. She started at North Atlanta in the 2012-13 school year.
She attended college at California State University, Los Angeles, Pepperdine University, National University and Argosy University. Her academic degrees include a Bachelors of Arts degree in English, two master’s degrees; one in Education and another in Educational Administration, along with her newly minted Doctoral degree. This year Skinner just completed her Doctorate in Educational Administration from Argosy University, Atlanta.
Skinner’s teaching philosophy is rooted in creating a space where students in her literature class feel free to explore and are confident that their teacher is solidly behind them. Teacher-engendered nurture leads to student achievement. “Before I can teach and students can learn, an environment must be created where students feel safe and respected. They have to feel they are free to ask questions, make mistakes and collaborate freely with their peers. My daily goal is to make sure that my students know that I care about them and their well-being is a priority to me,” she said.