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CSD District Teacher of the Year Ayoka Shakir

At the November 12 Board meeting, Ayoka Shakir was announced the CSD District Teacher of the Year. Ms. Shakir, an English teacher for grades 9-12, has been teaching at Decatur High School for 20 years.

Ms. Shakir said, “The students I am able to teach are what I love most about teaching. My job is never boring due to the variety of kids that I come in contact with every day. They are full of personality and humor and they always keep me on my toes. During the past twenty years, my kids have taught me about sports, bird watching, cosplay, rock climbing, new lingo, popular dances, and so much more. They fill my heart with joy and make me want to give them the best experience that I possibly can every day in class.”

One colleagues added, “Ayoka’s name comes up every time when we ask our students to name a teacher that they feel supports them at DHS. She connects with each and every student in a very personal way. She is the definition of a caring adult in the building. Her room is full of students after school — and not because they need to be there but because they want to be.”

Ms. Shakir has been a leader in the district's work of advancing racial equity as a member of both the District Equity Team and the DHS Equity Team. Ayoka is involved in many activities at DHS and is a member of ABCD - the faculty band that performs at the annual Rock and Roll Revue.

When not at DHS, she is baking, reading, hiking, being a Prince fan, FaceTiming with family, and sharing a good meal with friends. She is an aunt to three, godmother to five, and school mom to many. Congratulations, Ayoka!

In addition to the District Teacher of the Year, we are excited to announce the Teachers of the Year from each school. These teachers were selected by a peer-reviewed committee, from a competitive pool of teacher candidates. Congratulations to all nine of these amazing teachers!

(Please note: Since this is Talley Street's first year, they will be an observer in this process which is the standard practice we have used for years when new schools open.)

A special thanks to the Decatur Education Foundation (DEF) for their financial gift to each of the nine Teachers of the Year. This gift was presented to all nine Teachers of the Year along with flower arrangements and glass awards. Thank you to all the amazing CSD teachers who make a difference in their students lives!