After 36 years as an educator in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School System, Judith Whitmire-Bryant has left the classroom and the second grade students she taught for nearly four months at Easton Elementary School.
Whitmire-Bryant taught third grade at Easton for more than 18 years. At the beginning of the current school year in August, she transitioned to the second grade to prepare students for their crucial third-grade year.
The National Board Certified teacher said the decision to retire was one of the hardest she’s ever made. A Winston-Salem native, Whitmire-Bryant knew she wanted to be a teacher at an early age.
“I had so many positive influences as a young girl,” she said. “My teachers provided me with the skills that helped me matriculate through my school career successfully. They were professionals who taught us morals, values, and above all, how to read and do math.”
After graduating from WInston-Salem State University with a BA in English, Whitmire-Bryant resisted the challenge to teach middle and high school students; instead, she accepted a position as a teacher’s assistant until she returned to WSSU for an elementary education degree.
She initially was a reading teacher for three years; she then was a third grade teacher at Clemmons Elementary School for eight years. She realized her desire to teach students with backgrounds similar to her own when she applied for and was granted a transfer to Easton.
“I wanted to reach out to students who looked like me. I felt I could relate to them on a level that produced academic and behavioral successes in elementary school,” she said.
Although the population at Easton has drastically changed since 1994, when Whitmire-Bryant arrived, she is confident that she well-prepared many of her students for fourth grade.
After being nationally certified and named Easton’s 2001 Teacher of the Year, Whitmire-Bryant returned to WSSU to earn her Master of Education degree.
After eight years as a board certified teacher, she renewed her certification, joining the ranks of the nation’s most accomplished educators. The Delta Sigma Theta soror still has a strong passion for teaching students.
“Hopefully, I’ll do some things I want and need to do, then I’ll make my way back to doing what I do best -teaching,” she said.
Whitmire-Bryant is married to Edward Bryant. Together, they have three adult children and two grandchildren.