During Jefferson State’s annual Honors Convocation on April 21, Shelby County Schools Professional Development Supervisor Dr. Angela Walker was announced as the winner of Jefferson State’s 2016 Outstanding Alumnus Award.
“I struggled in school due to a reading disability and issues related to ADHD, something only discovered in my senior year of high school,” said Dr. Angela Walker. “Neither of my parents graduated high school, so there was no expectation of college for me. In fact, a high school counselor once told me I wasn’t college material.”
Through her struggles, she enrolled at Jefferson State and began taking classes in the Child Development program. During her second year, her mom passed away. She also found herself in an abusive marriage and three months pregnant. After a difficult divorce, she was now a young single mom of an infant, without her family support, and working two jobs while taking classes at Jefferson State.
Continuing to overcome, Walker earned her associate’s degree from Jefferson State and was recognized at the Child Development Student of the Year. She became a preschool teacher and then a child development coordinator.
“Dr. Walker displayed remarkable perseverance to achieve academic success,” said Jefferson State’s Community Relations Director David Bobo. “Her educational journey was filled with so many challenges, but she continued working toward her goals. She is a wonderful example to anyone who faces adversity.”
After about 10 years, Walker returned to school and earned her bachelor’s degree. She became an elementary school teacher and a reading interventionist, and became nationally certified. Walker has worked as an assistant principal, principal, administrator and district leader.
She continued her education and recently earned a Ph.D. in Early Childhood Education from the University of Alabama.
“Dr. Walker has made a difference in the lives of students for more than 25 years,” said Bobo. “I can’t imagine a better person to help students overcome their obstacles.”