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Above & Beyond: A Teacher's Inspiring Journey

Above & Beyond MullensNestled in the heart of a bustling community is a building full of dedicated and compassionate teachers in the Crittenton Children's Center alternative program. One teacher, Teresa Mullens, serves not only as a social studies teacher but also as a mentor, guide, and even a cheerleader. 

Mrs. Mullens is an integral part of a program designed to guide high-risk students towards positive paths in their educational journey. Earlier this year, she embarked on a remarkable journey with a twelfth-grade student facing daunting odds, determined to make a difference in his life. This student was part of a shortlist of mandatory discharges from Crittenton. The challenges were daunting – completing coursework and meeting graduation requirements were the hurdles between him and the coveted diploma. The odds of returning to his neighborhood school and thriving were very low, and he seemed destined for the heartbreak of dropping out without finishing his education.

Mrs. Mullens, however, saw beyond the statistics and decided to be the beacon of hope for this struggling student. She poured into the student, ensuring he met the graduation requirements throughout the first quarter. 

Mrs. Mullens championed academic goals and provided essential Special Education (SPED) accommodations to ensure this high-risk student could realize his dream of graduation. Mrs. Mullens' commitment went beyond the classroom, extending into advisory time and lunch breaks, every moment utilized to keep the student on track and focused on his goal.

Recognizing the imminent risk faced by this SPED student, Mrs. Mullens acted proactively, becoming the driving force preventing him from becoming another dropout statistic. 
"Mrs. Mullens exemplified model teacher leadership, demonstrating extraordinary leadership," Crittenton Principal Derek Jordan said. "What makes Mrs. Mullens's story remarkable is her selfless service and dedication to her students' success. She worked tirelessly, unaware that her efforts were being closely observed. Her actions spoke louder than words, proving her commitment to her students went far beyond the call of duty."

Ultimately, the student completed his coursework and earned his well-deserved diploma, defying the odds against him. Mrs. Mullens' dedication and leadership exemplify the transformative power a teacher can have on a student's life. 

Her story is an inspiration, showcasing educators' profound impact on students' lives. Superintendent Yaw Obeng honored Mrs. Mullens with the Above & Beyond Staff Member Award at the October School Board Meeting. Congratulations Mrs. Mullens!