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To honor the important work of our employees, we recognize outstanding substitute teachers, paraeducators, and support staff through our annual Substitute Educator of the Year program. Rudolph Ervin, a substitute teacher for the Uplift Education School System in Grand Prairie, Texas, is the winner of our 2022 K-12 Substitute Educator of the Year award.
In this Q&A, he shares why he became a substitute teacher and what educator inspired him as a child.
Why did you become a substitute teacher?
I had to retire from the corporate arena as an HR Director to provide quality care for family members that needed my assistance. There was still a need to supplement my income and have flexibility. I was a teacher for three years early on in my professional career. Now, as a substitute teacher at Uplift Grand Preparatory High School, I can take an active role in educating our future leaders of society and support a respected profession.
By working as a substitute teacher, you’re contributing to aiding the next generation to stay focused. And you’re protecting one of the most valuable privileges we have been granted as U.S. citizens—a free education.
Advice to students?
Have the patience to wait out difficulties, and endure the seemingly tedious growing stages without getting riled up.
Is there a teacher from your childhood that stands out in your memories?
My kindergarten teacher, the late Miss Lockie Harris held classes in her home. A retired teacher, she saw the need to educate children who did not have the advantage of private day care or preschool in the 1950’s. I was told that Miss Lockie allowed the children to continue and attend the class even if the families were unable to pay the very minimum stipend of $ 2.50 per week. When we entered the first grade, Miss Harris made sure we knew how to write our names, could read, use multiplication tables, and recite the addresses where we lived.
What colleagues say about Mr. Ervin.
“Mr. Ervin carries himself with dignity and purpose; therefore, students respect him and adhere to his direction. It is highly evident that Mr. Ervin’s true intention for substitute teaching is to positively impact the minds of our students by way of his character and encouraging words. Furthermore, his work ethic, attitude, and attentiveness are highly valued not just by me but by all my colleagues, who often rely on him and know he'll get the job done according to the plans we as teachers set aside."
– Rebekah Cole, colleague at Uplift Grand Preparatory High School
“Mr. Ervin has brought a lot of joy and consistency to our campus and our scholars. We noticed a stronger likelihood that scholars completed all assigned classwork when he was in the classroom compared to other substitute teachers we may have had on campus. He holds high expectations for scho"lars in the classroom and continues to be our most effective substitute teacher in executing lesson plans as written."
– Lea Stegal, dean of college prep at Uplift Grand Preparatory High School
Congratulations, Mr. Ervin!
"Rudolph Ervin is a true representative of the high-quality educators Kelly Education provides to its partner schools each day. He operates with high integrity and makes a clear difference in ensuring a successful learning environment exists in the classroom. We are proud to recognize his commitment with this honor.”
– Nicola Soares, President of Kelly Education
As one of four Substitute Educator of the Year winners, Rudolph Ervin will receive a $5,000 bonus from Kelly Education, as well as $1,500 donated on his behalf to Uplift Grand Preparatory High School.
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