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Teacher, parent committed to urban public school district

Everyday La Meca Perkins-Knight walks her kids into Theodore Potter School 74 on Indianapolis’ east side. She then walks down the hallway to her classroom to start her work day. Perkins-Knight is a teacher and parent at Indianapolis Public School (IPS) 74. 

“I have the joy of having my kids with me at School 74,” said Perkins-Knight. “I have the joy of watching them have teachers that are amazing.” 

Perkins-Knight strives to be the teacher she hopes for her kids. And, she’s demonstrated she is one of the best educators in IPS. Last year, Perkins-Knight was one of ten finalists – out of 486 teachers nominated – for the United Way of Central Indiana Hubbard Life-Changing Teacher Award. 

Perkins-Knight acknowledges she couldn’t be as successful as she is without her fellow, public school educators. The team approach at School 74 creates a supportive environment where teachers can grow and learn from one another to better student learning and outcomes. 

“My cause is to ensure that public school students continue to get those great teachers to come in and want to stay in the profession,” she explained. 

Attracting and retaining teachers can be challenging in an urban public school district with students from low-income households, but Perkins-Knight credits a teacher she had growing up – in an urban public school district – with encouraging her to pursue education. She became the first person in her family to go to college. That inspiration was invaluable. Perkins-Knight is committed to her students, public education and remaining in an urban school district. 

“I don’t think I’ll ever do anything different,” said Perkins-Knight. “I want to be a public-school teacher. I want to be an inner-city school teacher. I plan to teach as long as I can.” 

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