Akisha Ray Named 2017-2018 Teacher of the Year


Rhiann Ashmore

Literature teacher Akisha Ray was named North Atlanta 2017-2018 Teacher of the Year

Akisha Ray, known for her fun disposition and positive attitude in every class, has been named 2017-2018 Teacher of the Year at North Atlanta High School. The strong endorsement for the ninth grade Literature teacher came from Ray’s faculty and staff peers.

For the past four years, Ray has taught at North Atlanta. She grew up in Springfield, Mass. Ray said the idea of becoming a teacher first came to her upon her graduation from college with an undergraduate degree in sociology. While Ray loves many aspects of being a teacher, the part she loves the most is watching her students excel. “I love witnessing their academic and interpersonal development,” she said.

For college, Ray attended Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn., where she received a bachelor’s degree in sociology. She also holds a master’s degree in middle grades education, which she received from American InterContinental University and Mercer University.

The classroom is not all that Ray has ever known. Prior to her career in education, she held jobs in the financial services sector as both a bank teller and loan adviser. Prior to arriving at North Atlanta in 2013, she was a middle school English teacher for six years at Stevenson Middle School and Chapel Hill Middle School. Since coming to North Atlanta, she said she’s been a happy member of the Warrior faculty. “I love getting to collaborate with like-minded individuals in the building,” she said.

Ray said she learns as much from her students as they learn from her and they enable her to see things in a way she never could have imagined. Many students feel she truly cares and will go well out of her way to help them improve a grade. “Ms. Ray is always willing to make sure we are striving to do our very best.” said freshman Lenox Johnson. “She always makes class an interesting and enjoyable place to be.”

The job of being a freshmen-level literature teacher is one that infuses her life with joy. “I enjoy stories and there is always some real-world connection with everything that we do.” Ray said. “The learning is relevant and you can bring the subject matter beyond the classroom.”

The school-wide announcement about teacher of the year was met with much anticipation and Ray said she was floored to hear her name called out when the announcement came over the school PA system. “I was completely shocked and absolutely speechless,” she said. “I am so honored, and grateful for being able to represent our school.”

The 2017-2018 school year is sure to be a great one, especially with Akisha Ray as North Atlanta’s Teacher of the Year.