Prowell works to empower students to accomplish the impossible
Published 4:48 pm Tuesday, January 28, 2020
This article is part of a series by The Vicksburg Post, in partnership with the Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce, featuring each of the nominees for teacher of the year honors.
“I teach because I’ve been anointed to teach and I love empowering students to be miniature superheroes.”
Those few words on an application for the Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce’s Teacher of the Year awards summed up why Academy of Innovation teacher Brittany Prowell is a teacher and why she is considered one of the county’s best.
Prowell is one of the area teachers nominated for the Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce’s Teacher of the Year awards.
The chamber will select and announce one elementary and one secondary teacher of the year at the chamber luncheon on Feb. 25. The winner of each award will receive $1,000 from Ameristar Casino and the runner-up for each award will receive $500 from Mutual Credit Union.
A 2007 graduate of Vicksburg High School, Prowell received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Alcorn State and a master’s degree in the same field from Delta State.
She began her teaching career in the Yazoo City Municipal School District, teaching third grade at McCoy Elementary. In 2014, she moved to the Canton Public School District, where she taught third-grade math at Goodloe Elementary.
In 2017, she had the chance to return home to Vicksburg, joining the staff at the Academy of Innovation as a seventh-grade math teacher.
“In order to improve student achievement in the classroom, I start the year by establishing a climate of trust and respect for each person,” Prowell writes in her application to the chamber. “Each year, my students excel and go far above what is expected because we set the goals, we set the atmosphere, we incorporate group activities, we learn from each other and we lead each lesson with hands-on activities so that we will always remember it.”
When asked to share one of her most moving educational experiences, Prowell went back to her time teaching third grade.
“I received a student who was two years behind grade level, newly adopted and he would frequently say that he hated school,” she wrote. “We worked hard every day. At the end of the year, he tested on grade level in reading and above grade level in math. We all cried tears of joy. To hear him come back and say, ‘Ms. Prowell, you made learning fun, and I remembered everything you taught’ was the icing on the cake.
“I empowered him to do what he felt like was the impossible. From then on, that has been my mission, to empower students to do the impossible.”