Hill takes passion to academy to help students get diplomas

Lakeisha Hill is the new program director for Forsyth Academy for Continuing Education.

Hill takes passion to academy to help students get diplomas
August 30
09:42 2018

Whether it’s helping students succeed at Forest Park Elementary, inspiring students at Main Street Academy to defy the odds, or creating a support system for African-American males with her IAAM initiative, Lakeisha Hill has always shown a passion for helping students in need.

Now, as the new program director for the districts Forsyth Academy for Continuing Education (FACE) program, she will look to use that same passion to help students receive their high school diploma.

Hill said her passion for helping “at-risk” students comes from her own experiences. She said growing up in public housing, she was labeled as an at-risk student before she even knew what it meant. 

“I grew up in Kimberly Projects and I didn’t know at the time that I was at risk, but once I started becoming an adult, I realized that I had survived so many obstacles,” continued Hill. “… And when I became an educator, I knew that I wanted to break some cycles. Even as a teacher I wanted to make my classroom a place where they could forget about their troubles.”

After years of inspiring students from the classroom, Hill got a chance to test the waters as an administrator when she was named an assistant principal at Forest Park Elementary School. In 2014, Hill was named assistant principal at Main Street Academy, an alternative school for middle and high school students who have been suspended or expelled from their home school.

Around the same time Hill launched the Initiative for African American Males (IAAM), a program designed to close the education gap that African-American males are currently facing in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County. Hill said while she enjoyed her time at Forest Park and leading IAAM, it was at Main Street where she found her calling.

She said that’s what led to her taking the position with FACE when Walter Johnson stepped down earlier this year to take a position at Walkertown High School.

“I found that I have a niche for alternative education and I found that through Main Street Academy. I knew in my heart that I wanted to lean toward something in the alternative setting. So when FACE became available, I was like, ‘That’s it.’ The position here at FACE aligned itself with my passion and my professional goals,” said Hill during an interview in her office earlier this week. 

“… If these kids have dropped out or are at risk of dropping out or just trying to better themselves, then who better to help them out than me? That’s all I’m about.”

FACE was established in 2013 as a program to help students who had dropped out earn their high school diplomas. Since then, the program has expanded to include students who may be at risk of dropping out.

Students enrolled in the FACE program attend classes at the Career Center from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and upon completion of the program they will be able to graduate with their home school. A partnership with Goodwill also gives students the opportunity to enroll in classes at Forsyth Tech upon completion of the program to learn a trade. 

As program director, Hill will be responsible for making sure students are taking necessary courses to graduate. Hill said overall her job is to make sure the young people she comes in contact with become productive citizens. Although the students may be older and have different challenges than students at her previous stops, Hill is confident that she has what it takes to help students succeed. 

“I just pray I’m able to connect with these students the same way, if not better, than at Main Street and Forest Park so that they can see that this program has made a difference in their lives,” continued Hill. “So far the FACE Program has been successful so I just want to continue that success. 

“I feel like this position really does help link me to the educational realm as well as the community,” she said.

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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