Educator Profile    Educators


Lavetta Ellis (GA '93)


At the time of the Award, Lavetta Ellis was:

Kennedy Middle School
Atlanta, GA

Subject(s) taught: Physical Education, Health
Grade(s): 6, 7, 8, 9

Biographical Information

"As the eleventh child in a family of twelve siblings, I was born into a classroom atmosphere," said Lavetta Ellis, an ordained minister and a teacher of health and physical education at Atlanta's John F. Kennedy Middle School. "The overcrowdedness, the rules, and a teacher (with a third grade education) who expected us to demonstrate values, self-esteem, hard work, and a desire to succeed and love, produced twelve excellent students. The administrator (with second grade education) was a strong quiet man, who reinforced all the expectations of the teacher with love, praise, and firmness. These two people, living in a small southern town in Tennessee, instilled a very special sense of pride that enabled me to endure and cope with whatever challenges were on my path. I could endure." Mrs. Ellis carried on the fine legacy of her parents in all her classrooms. She developed several workshops to help adolescents build self-esteem; one of these, "Teaching Adolescents How to Love," was presented in regional, state-wide and out-of-state forums. "I believe every child learns better with love," she said. "Love has been the greatest classroom management I have found."