Top 100 Women of Impact: Cherilyn Grant Minnis

Cherilyn Grant Minnis

12th Grade English Teacher, Academies of West Memphis, West Memphis School District

About me: I am presently employed by the West Memphis School District where I have been an English teacher for the past 55 years. I have taught 12th grade AP English for 14 years and have also taught 12th grade honors and “regular” English. I have been named West Memphis School District’s Teacher of the Year twice, and in 2009 was honored among 15 finalists as Arkansas Teacher of the Year. I also won Teacher of the Year in the Great River Educational Co-Op region. 

The legacy I hope to leave in life is that the world will be made a better place because I have made an impact in the life of a child. 

Lives in: Marion • Works in: West Memphis

Best Career Advice: I realize the importance of creating an inner spark of self-awareness in students. I advise teachers to look each student in the eye daily, find a connective string that draws you and the student together and build a bond that will enable the student to grow educationally, socially and intellectually.

Proudest Moment of Impact: For over 40 years, I had a perfect attendance record, arriving early and staying late to enhance my students’ educational growth. I have also received many educational awards. Although the honor that I received from the recognition was always gratifying, I realized that the achievements my students earned had been pivotal in my success as an educator. My success as a teacher will always depend upon the magnitude and progress of my students.

Call to Action: One of the challenges that we face is with technological accessibility and exposure, which has created less face-to-face interaction. I believe there is a need for more natural outlets: community centers, after-school activities and social group sessions. Therefore, all areas — the school, the churches, the politicians, the business world and the community as a whole — need to join forces and create active methods of coming together and once again realizing the importance of being “our brother’s keeper.” 

A Women’s Foundation of Arkansas Initiative

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