Silent Heroes

Detroit PBS KIDS celebrates Teachers going above and beyond during this crisis.

Do you know a silent hero? Share their story with us at Tara’s Facebook page.

Silent Hero: Michael Payne, Jr.

Black Male Educators Alliance How many Black male teachers did you have over the course of your educational career? Chances are, not many, as Black men make up only 2% of the nation's teaching corps. This is a challenge that Morehouse alum, Michael Payne Jr., is working to address. Mr. Payne is the President of [...]

Silent Hero: April Angle

Detroit Edison Public School Academy "I really wish my parents and my students all knew that everything I do is from the heart." April Angle is a fifth grade teacher at Detroit Edison Public School Academy of the New Paradigm for Education district in Detroit. When COVID-19 closed her school building, she and her colleagues [...]

Silent Hero: Meenakshi Mukherjee

Davison Elementary-Middle School "I miss my kids...I miss their families...I miss their stories and jokes." Meenakshi Mukherjee is seven-year teaching veteran. Though she began her education career teaching fourth grade, she's now an eighth grade teacher at Davison Elementary-Middle School in Detroit. Like many teachers across the country, the physical closing of schools caused by [...]

Silent Hero: Jeanie Wilson

Ann Arbor STEAM at Northside Jeanie Wilson is a 6th and 8th grade science teacher at Ann Arbor STEAM at Northside. When the shelter-in-place orders forced the physical closing of her school, she first thing she did was connect with her students. According to Mrs. Wilson, "When you're serving a family, you're not just serving [...]

Silent Hero: Abigail Gooding

Noble Elementary-Middle School "I definitely pictured taking end-of-school pictures with the kids and doing fun activities at the end. So this is, in some ways, really sad for me...They'd already made such progress in the middle of the year, and to kind of see that slip away is pretty heartbreaking." In this edition of Silent [...]

Silent Hero: Carmen Williams

COVID-19 Survivor Carmen Williams experienced first-hand the horrors of COVID-19. After testing positive for the disease, she was instructed to quarantine at home. This sounds simple - except Carmen is also a single mom of three children, aged 3, 5, and 15. In this special edition of Silent Heroes, Carmen shares what it was like [...]

Silent Hero: Kathleen Alessandro

Great Start Detroit-Wayne Kathleen Alessandro is the Executive Director of Great Start Collaborative-Wayne. Great Start helps families across Wayne County access high quality early childhood learning and development experiences that support readiness and third-grade reading proficiency. When COVID-19 forced the closing of learning centers throughout the state, Great Start mobilized its networks to provide assistance [...]

Silent Hero: Eric Walton

The Dad Evolution Ever heard of a "daddy internship"? When Eric Walton learned he and his wife were expecting their first child, he sought opportunities to learn about being a dad by spending time with his friends' children. He eventually took the lessons he learned about becoming a father and created a support group, The [...]

Silent Hero: Abigail VanBuhler

Ford Early Learning Center Ypsilanti, Michigan Abigail VanBuhler is a site coordinator for EMU Bright Futures’ 21st CCLC after school program at Ford Early Learning Center in Ypsilanti, MI. In her role at Ford, she serves a community of kindergarten and first-grade youth and their families. When COVID-19 forced the closing of her school, her [...]

Silent Hero: Patrick Harris

Detroit Achievement Academy "I want students to know that their humanity reigns supreme."   Patrick Harris is a 7th and 8th grade teacher at Detroit Achievement Academy on the city's westside. Like many teachers, Mr. Harris had to pivot quickly and learn on-the-fly when Stay Home, Stay Safe orders closed his school and required students [...]

Silent Hero: Kaia Alexander

Detroit Edison Public School Academy Imagine being a first-year elementary teacher, and a global health crisis forces you to shift your teaching responsibilities to 100% online instruction. And by the way - you have to do this without any prior formal training in online learning. This is the position that Detroit Edison Public School Academy [...]

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