AlumNow: Lincoln alum encourages students to persevere and believe

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For Sherril English, a graduate of Lincoln High School, 1972, a band director’s life lessons taught her the importance of making good decisions. Coupled with the memories of an incredible mother who instilled in her a strong work ethic, English continues to push toward her goals. 

AlumNow, The Hub series that profiles district alumni, connected with English for an update on what she’s been doing.

What are you doing now?

Since leaving St. Philip’s School and Community Center in 2008 after serving eight years as principal, I have been employed with Southern Methodist University in the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development.

Currently, I’m an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning.  I teach graduate level courses to first-year teachers in Foundations of Teaching and Learning and Diverse Learners in urban schools.  I also provide school culture professional development training to teachers and students in several West Dallas elementary schools in Dallas ISD.  This past summer, I taught a cohort of teachers in the district’s Teacher Excellence Academy.

Briefly list a few of your career and/or personal highlights.

  • P.H.D. candidate, 2016, University of North Texas, Curriculum and Instruction, School Culture, Social Justice, Multicultural Education, College Readiness, Urban Education
  • Director, Eagle Scholars Summer College Readiness Program, Southern Methodist University and Vickery Meadow Youth Development Foundation, 2008 – 2013
  • Principal, Philip’s School and Community Center, 1999 – 2008
  • Outstanding Doctoral Student in Curriculum Studies Award, University of North Texas, 2015

What was your favorite subject or activity/involvement in high school?

My favorite subjects in high school were shorthand and typewriting (keyboarding). I enjoyed those subjects and was very good at both. Those subjects, coupled with a desire to teach, led me to study secondary business education in college.

I was a member of the Lincoln High School Band where I played clarinet and was a majorette (captain in 1972).

Who was your favorite teacher?

One of my favorite teachers was Mr. Allison Tucker, band director.  Mr. Tucker was not only our teacher, but he helped guide us in making good “life” decisions. He would not allow us to participate in the band activities unless we did well, academically. He was a father figure to many of us.

What lesson did you learn in high school or beyond that has served you well through the years?

The lesson that has served me well has been the power of possessing good work ethic and resilience.  From a very early age, my mother and teachers from Charles Rice, Pearl C. Anderson, and Lincoln taught us the value of hard work, persistence, and perseverance.

What advice, if any, would you offer to high school students today?

The best advice that I have offered many students is to “persevere and believe in yourself.” Never give up even when others may assume that you are not capable of success.  Prove to yourself that you can do whatever you put your mind to.

What inspires you?

I have always been inspired by the belief that I would achieve my goals if I worked hard and persevered.  I am now, more than ever, inspired by the memory of my mother who always believed in her children and taught us the value of education.

College/University and degree(s) earned:

Ph.D., 2016, University of North Texas, Curriculum and Instruction, School Culture, Social Justice Multicultural Education, College Readiness, Urban Education

M.S., Texas A & M University-Commerce, elementary education

B.S., Texas Woman’s University, secondary business education

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