This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series Featured Teacher

Since its inception, Felicia Charles has been an integral part of Jimmy Carter Early College High School (JCECHS), teaching dual enrollment biology. Her unexpected journey into teaching began with a simple thought: “Why not?”

Initially, on a path to becoming a pharmacist, Charles was advised by her counselor to enroll in the Secondary Certification Program with the Education Department.

“I landed in this career because of a scholarship I had,” she said. “This scholarship paid for four years of college. When I was in my 3rd year, I already qualified to graduate, but my counselor told me I would give up most of my scholarship.”

Though she planned to take the PCAT exam, Charles fell in love with teaching instead.

“I loved the superintendent’s vision for the school,” she said. “At that time, I didn’t know of any other campus that was an ECHS in the valley, so I was excited to be part of it.”

Charles has grown alongside JCECHS.

“I have been teaching as long as Jimmy Carter ECHS has been open (14 years),” she said. “During that first year of opening our doors to the first graduating class of 2014, we worked diligently to apply to be an Early College High School.”

Her enthusiasm led her to abandon the PCAT.

“Needless to say, I never attempted the PCAT because I loved what I did and didn’t feel the need to explore that initial career goal.”

Despite the challenges of adapting to new environments annually, Charles remains committed to creating a supportive classroom environment.

“What truly makes teaching special for me is the opportunity to connect with my students on a personal level,” she said. “Building these relationships not only enhances their learning journey but also makes my own experience as an educator incredibly enjoyable.”

Her unyielding dedication to her students and her positive personality embody the essence of a great teacher. As we approach Teachers’ Appreciation Week, it’s a fitting time to honor Ms. Charles and all dedicated educators for their unwavering commitment to shaping future generations.

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