Top Teacher: Dr. Mariann Amina

By Brooke Kelley - bio | email

A love for children is just one of the reasons this Top Teacher was nominated.

The Hodge Elementary school teacher has quite a story to tell.

As an early intervention program teacher at Hodge Elementary school, Dr. Mariann Amina travels from classroom to classroom working with small groups of students.

"It gives me the opportunity to go to different classes and touch different areas reading and I am teaching different things everyday," Amina said.

When Amina was growing up in Nigeria, she traveled with her father, who was an ambassador. Those trips to rural and poor countries inspired her to reach out to the children.

"I lived in Ghana in one of the rural areas, and you see kids who walk 20 kilometers every day to school with no shoes. Sometimes, I would bring my lunch to these kids and say, 'go ahead have it,'" she said.

In her own youth, she excelled at the game of tennis.

"I started playing tennis when I was 7. I have been in the Olympics in 84 and in 88," said Amina.

A tennis scholarship first brought her to Savannah to work toward her passion to become a teacher.

"I went to Howard first and after about two weeks, it was raining and snowing everywhere. I was like, 'I don't think I can take this' so I called Savannah State and said, 'You still have my scholarship?' They said 'yes,' and I said, 'I am on my way'. When I got here, it was hot like 90 degrees, and I said, 'oh yes, this is home for me,'" Amina said.

Savannah is her home and her students -- her family.

"I want them to remember me as the teacher that never gave up,"said Amina.

Principal Donna Myers knows that Amina's dedication to her students is something special.

"The only word that can be used to describe Dr. Amina is one of kind. She's a teacher that does not accept failure of any type does accept academic or personal failure. She will do whatever is necessary to make sure the students in her class succeed," Myers said.

"I want them to know that these kids can be reached depending on how we approach them and talk to them but they can be reached to learn and become our future for tomorrow," said Amina.

Dr. Mariann Amina our WTOC Top Teacher.

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