This educator spotlight on Leondrus Wright, a current teacher inspiring future educators through our Teacher Pathway program, is featured in “Along the Pathway”, our monthly Teacher Pathway newsletter. Each edition features updates regarding the Teacher Pathway program, participant and community partner spotlights, and programming goals our mentees are working towards that will support them in becoming dynamic educators in local classrooms. To receive the newsletter in your inbox each month, please email email@example.com.
Leondrus Wright’s journey into education is a testament to the transformative power of following one’s true passion. As an educator in Southern Nevada, his commitment to providing a world-class education for every child has been unwavering. In addition to his classroom role, Leondrus serves as a mentor in the Public Education Foundation’s Teacher Pathway program, guiding future educators on their path to becoming exceptional teachers.
A Shift in Career and a Calling to Teach
In 2018, Leondrus found himself at a crossroads in his career as a chef. Despite his achievements in the culinary world, he felt unfulfilled and sought a more meaningful path. The answer came when he contemplated what would genuinely make him happy – teaching. Though he had attempted this career shift before without success, this time, the stars aligned, and Leondrus made a life-changing decision to become an educator. Leondrus’s journey into the education field officially began when he joined Teach for America Nevada. This program is renowned for its commitment to equipping passionate individuals with the tools and knowledge needed to make a difference in the lives of students. For Leondrus, it was the perfect platform to channel his newfound passion for teaching.
“Providing a World-Class Education for Every Child”
As an educator, Leondrus deeply resonates with the motto of his former school Ann T. Lynch Elementary School: “Providing a World-Class Education for Every Child.” This motto holds special significance for him as both a person of color and a member of the LGBTQIA+ community who understands the importance of breaking down barriers and ensuring that every student has the opportunity to excel on their own terms, free from limitations imposed by others. Leondrus recognizes the pivotal role educators play in the holistic development of students. When asked what he sees as an educator’s role in the development of a student, Wright stated, “Educators are not just facilitators of knowledge but also the driving force behind a student’s educational journey. They bridge the gap between what students learn at home and how they apply that knowledge in the classroom.” Leondrus emphasizes that it takes a village to nurture a student’s overall development, with educators being a crucial part of that village.
Mentoring Future Educators: A Rewarding Experience
When asked to describe his experience as a mentor in the PEF Teacher Pathway program, Leondrus answered by stating it has “been nothing short of amazing!” He commends the program for its supportive team, easy navigation, and compensation that truly reflects the time and effort invested.
Having an opportunity to share classroom experiences, resources, successes, and challenges with aspiring educators has been a rewarding journey. Teaching is a profession of trial and error, and Leondrus takes pride in guiding mentees as they navigate their own teaching paths. He stresses the importance of continuous professional development for educators. In an ever-evolving educational landscape, staying updated on best practices is essential. Leondrus acknowledges that aspiring educators often encounter barriers on their path to licensure. While his mentees from the previous year faced no major obstacles, he recognizes the need for mentorship and support to navigate the licensure process successfully. He believes that educators should be willing to educate themselves to provide the best possible education for their students. One of the key elements of effective teaching, according to Leondrus, is the ability to use a curriculum effectively and offer differentiated instruction based on student assessments. This approach ensures that each student receives tailored support to reach their full potential.
The Joy of Teaching
For those considering a career in education, Leondrus offers heartfelt advice: pursue teaching as a calling. Despite the challenges, a genuine passion for impacting students’ lives can make the journey incredibly rewarding. Leondrus’s favorite aspect of teaching is witnessing those magical moments when a student’s understanding “clicks.” The excitement and eagerness students show when they grasp a concept are priceless rewards for educators.
Impact on Mentees and the Educational Community
Leondrus believes that his support has made a significant impact on his mentees, helping them find the answers to their questions and overcome challenges. His dedication contributes to a stronger educational community, fostering a network of caring and passionate educators dedicated to their students’ success. His experiences, insights, and dedication inspire us all to embrace our true callings and make a lasting impact on the lives of students and the future of education in Southern Nevada. The Teacher Pathway Team feels privileged to have such an intentional and passionate educator among the mentors who are supporting those on their journey to becoming teachers.