JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - It’s staggering statistic, only two percent of black men make-up the teacher workforce in this country.
But with a growing population of minorities in public schools, research shows more diversity is needed when it comes to leadership.
Warren Central Intermediate school teacher Woodrow Price loves his job.
He has been teaching for 13 years and won countless awards for his dedication and service in the classroom.
Recently he won the Sanford Teacher Award, which honors the top teachers in the US who inspire students and promote high academic achievement.
“I am one of 51 teachers across the country to receive this high honor, a Misisssippi representative and being a black male and, as a Mississippi representative want to offer hope like me also interested in being educators help,” said educator Woodrow Price.
“When I was in high school there were not a lot of black male influences,”
Thomas Mayfield has been in the educational field for almost six years.
As a teacher he has jump started countless programs to help young people look their best and make the grade.
“A lot of students are looking for someone to look up to and a lot of times we are with students more than parents, so if I can be a positive role model for a student each and every day, who knows what impact it can have a name for years to come,” said Mayfield.
Mayfield and Price are part of that two percent of black male teachers in this country. While they wish the percentage was higher, they admit they are not surprised.
“I think we have to do a better job of recruiting black males to the classroom and I think pay plays a part into it,” said Mayfield.
“They don’t understand the value of nurturing a child. When they think of nurturing children they think of a role of a female, but as a black male you have such a great impact not only on black males but all children in general,” said Price.
They hope their success will encourage more black men to sign up and help diversify school districts and classrooms in the state and country.
“I think it’s very rewarding for black men to go into the education field because there’s so many students that gravitate to you. To see a professional black man that they can actually talk to who comes from the community,” said Mayfield.