Position: Fifth Grade English Language Arts Teacher
School: Orange Grove Elementary School
School District: Harrison County School District
City, State: Gulfport, MS
Music that Describes Nakia
Nakia Sibley was nominated by one of her children, Cameron Sims.
"'When I enter this class... I am intelligent! I am respected! I am loved! I am me! I will always do my best because my best is all that's expected!' Every day, these are the words that can be heard coming proudly from the mouths of all of my mom's students," said Sims. "She makes a point of making her students feel comfortable, safe, and excited to learn. She used the same philosophy as she raised my brother and I. Every day, my mom instilled greatness in us and told us that we were loved."
Ms. Sibley has been a teacher for 22 years. She coached dance for a number of years before moving on to other ventures. A few years ago, she was appointed as the Beta Club Sponsor and NEHS sponsor. One of her proudest accomplishments was leading them in a competition where one of their very own placed first and second in state. Beta Club opened an avenue for Ms. Sibley to bridge the gap between her students and the community. With her supervision and guidance, her clubs donated time and supplies to local organizations like the Humane Society. They even did a large undertaking and sent 500 Christmas cards to Germany to soldiers who were not home for the holidays.
Ms. Sibley is an inspiration to so many people, both in and outside of the classrrom. She's always willing to lend a helping hand to her coworkers. She wrote various grants for her school to obtain needed materials over the years.
"Recently, I had a traumatic car accident where I crashed my car after I fell asleep at the wheel trying to drive back to college," said Sims. "During the whole ordeal, I saw strength in my mom that I never knew. She was there for me and assured me that God wasn't down with me yet. Those very words struck a cord with me that my mom was indeed 'Superwoman!' How does she do what she does every day and never break? I can tell you, she is blessed!"
Ms. Sibley works long hours to figure out innovative ways to teach her kids through technology. She pushes them to become great writers and even better students. Ms. Sibley is that teacher who students respect for her structure and classroom management, and they absolutely love her personality. She is funny and creative, and she brings out the best of everyone. She wants to improve community relations, so she and the members of her clubs took part in a luncheon with law enforcement. Several years ago, she received The Mayor's Youth Award in Hattiesburg for her work with at-risk teens.
"My mom continues to work selflessly with her students, wanting no more than for them to thrive and be successful. When she sees a child in need, she springs into action," said Sims. "For example, she came home one day and asked my brother and I to go through our old clothes and shoes because she had two students who needed help. Then, she took her own money and purchased a coat, as well. She does not like to see any child suffer. As far as her work goes, my mom implements new strategies that gets kids to interact and think outside the box."
"It may sound biased because she is my mom, but I can't think of a more deserving candidate," said Sims. "She also helped with collecting supplies for Hurricane Zeta victims. There is so much I can say, but there's one thing I know, for sure. My mom is the perfect example of a great teacher!"