Former track star is WCI lead teacher

Published 10:29 am Tuesday, July 14, 2015

SPRINTER: Lakesha Batty came to Mississippi on a track and field scholarship at Alcorn State University.

SPRINTER: Lakesha Batty came to Mississippi on a track and field scholarship at Alcorn State University.

Warren Central Intermediate School lead teacher Lakesha Batty ran her way from Missouri all the way to Mississippi.

The track and field athlete left her home in St. Louis to run sprints at Alcorn State University and has lived in Mississippi ever since.

“I was offered several track and field scholarships,” she said. “I took the one that was the farthest away from home, just to get a little independence for a while.”

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Batty started teaching in Tallulah, La., in 2000, and she has been teaching for 15 years.

“I came here to the Vicksburg Warren School District in 2006, and I’ve been with the district ever since,” she said.

Batty didn’t always know she would end up in education, but other people saw it in her.

“As far back as I can remember I knew I wanted to help people,” she said. “I didn’t know what capacity, I just knew I wanted to help.”

Going into college, Batty thought she would end up in physical therapy, but after a football coach overheard her talking with some friends, he said he thought she would end up being a teacher.

“After that conversation I guess it really stuck with me,” she said. “I really enjoy working with kids.”

Batty has been the lead teacher at WCI for the last five years.

“It’s very rewarding to me,” she said. “I didn’t want to stay in the classroom forever, but I wanted to serve in a capacity where I could serve and mentor teachers.”

Batty said she knew that’s what she wanted to do after her first year of teaching when she had so much help and guidance from one of her colleagues.

“I believe that all children can learn,” she said. “I also believe that planning and professionalism is key.”

Batty said a lack of planning is one of her biggest pet peeves.

“Teaching doesn’t just start in the classroom when the children arrive,” she said. “It starts well before that.”

Outside of school, Batty said she enjoys skating, dancing and traveling.

“I don’t skate as often as I like,” she said. “In St. Louis we have the wood floor skating rinks and we have very smooth concrete surfaces that I prefer to the wood. You don’t have the grooves like you have in the wood.”

Batty and her husband Kensell have two sons, Kensell Jr. and Kameron. She met her husband in college, and he works at Warren Central Junior High School where he is also a lead teacher.