Staff Spotlight: Lateshia Hawkins

Ms. Tee Hawkins | High School Science Teacher| KIPP DC College Preparatory

We are thrilled to announce Ms. Lateshia “Ms. Tee” Hawkins as KIPP DC’s March Staff Spotlight! Hailing from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Ms. Hawkins embarked on her academic journey with a passion for science. With a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Johnson C. Smith University and a master’s degree in pharmaceutical chemistry from the University of Florida, Ms. Hawkins brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her role as a high school science teacher at KIPP DC College Prep. Her tireless efforts extend beyond the classroom as she serves as the science department chair, recruitment and enrollment chair, varsity softball coach, and the advisor for the chemistry club. We recently had the pleasure of connecting with Ms. Hawkins to delve into her remarkable journey at KIPP DC.

How have you grown during your time at KIPP DC?

“I’ve undergone significant growth, both professionally and personally. Joining the KIPP DC community marked my first venture beyond the bounds of North Carolina. While my interest in academics has always been evident, teaching at a predominantly black and brown high school in DC has proven to be truly transformative. Witnessing the boundless potential of my students has reshaped my perspective on education. Beyond academic achievement, my mission is to provide an exposure of opportunities to students who may not typically gravitate towards math and science, in hopes of igniting a passion for STEM fields. This endeavor has expanded my horizons and solidified my dedication to fostering a culture of learning and appreciation for education, both inside and outside the classroom.”

Can you describe the support you’ve received from colleagues and your team at KIPP DC College Prep?

“The collaborative environment at KCP has played a crucial role in my professional development. In my third year, I was fortunate to have a supervisor who not only listened attentively to all of my ideas but also wholeheartedly supported them, giving me the green light to implement them. Her confidence in me empowered me to create new programs and initiatives. Her support boosted my confidence, allowing me to step out of my comfort zone and create enriching experiences for our students.”

If you could take your students on a field trip anywhere in the world, where would you take them?

“I would definitely take them on an immersive trip to Cheetos factory or a soda production facility. By witnessing the science behind everyday products they consume, students can gain a deeper appreciation for the real-world applications of STEM. This experience would not only enrich their understanding but also ignite their curiosity and passion for the subject.”

What is a piece of wisdom that you would like to share with your students?

“My advice to students would be to embrace curiosity and fearlessly pursue their passions. While failure may seem intimidating, it is through these challenges that we grow and learn. I encourage them to step out of their comfort zones, explore new avenues, and harness their unique talents. By fostering a mindset of resilience and perseverance, they can unlock their full potential and pave the way for their future success.”

As she continues to empower her students and cultivate a love for STEM, Ms. Hawkins personifies the spirit of excellence and innovation that defines KIPP DC. We are honored to have her as a guiding force in our community, inspiring students to reach new heights and pursue their dreams with confidence and resilience. We couldn’t be more proud to feature her as this month’s spotlight.

Posted on March 12, 2024 in Awards & Recognition