Porter’s Chapel English teacher taught Broadway star

Published 11:26 am Tuesday, November 25, 2014

TIRELESS: Cheryl Grant, PCA's Englaish teacher once taught Broadway star Kissy Simmons.

TIRELESS: Cheryl Grant, PCA’s Englaish teacher once taught Broadway star Kissy Simmons.

As a teenager, Cheryl Grant aspired to be an actress. Her parents disagreed with her career choice, so Grant went with plan B and became a teacher instead.

Grant, an English teacher at Porters Chapel Academy, fell in love with theater and singing during her early years in school.

“Of course when you’re taught by nuns you don’t have a choice on whether you’re going to be in the choir or not,” Grant, who

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attended St. Frances when the Catholic school was still an all girls’ school in the late 1960s, said. “We were known as the sister school girls.”

Grant, who was born in Vicksburg has lived here the majority of her life. The only time she moved from Vicksburg was when she was asked to start a drama program at Citrus High School in Inverness, Fla. “It was a very successful program.”

In was during her eight years in Florida she taught Kissy Simmons. After graduating high school Simmons played the role of Nala in the Broadway production of The Lion King.

“Family, friends, school,” said Grant who believes that family is one of the most important things life has to offer. Grant is one of seven children. After eight years in Florida Grant moved back when her dad got sick.

“Here I get to teach,” Grant said of her role at Porters Chapel. Grant is grateful she has been able to teach in Vicksburg.

Before teaching at PCA Grant taught at Saint Aloysius High School, Warren Central High School and Warren Central Junior High.

“It’s enjoyable and the atmosphere is more personal,” said Grant as she explained one of the things she loves about PCA is that it is small and both students and coworkers become like a family.

Grant’s largest class is only 16 students. Grant likes teaching smaller classes and said it gives her more time to make sure her students succeed.

“They have teachers who care about them and will go the extra mile to make them familiar with everything they are going to need to e familiar with in college,” Grant said.

After having retired from the Vicksburg Warren School District Grant, who decided she wasn’t ready to retire, went to work for PCA.

Grant has decided that she wasn’t ready to retire then, and she is not ready to retire anytime soon.