A Letter of Support for Jacqueline Gray Miller
As one of six children born to Dr. Levi Watkins, Sr., the 7th presidents of Alabama State University, the importance of education was stressed very early in our family. I followed my father into the field of education. Over the course of my forty years in education, as both teacher and administrator, I worked on all levels from elementary school to middle and senior high school, and finally college level. I was involved with students of all kinds and from all backgrounds. Some were exceptionally motivated while others were not. Yet, I felt it was my duty to give them my best as their future and mine would depend on what I could impart to them.
One of my most memorable students was Jackie Gray. From the first moment I interviewed her for acceptance to Baldwin Middle Academic and Arts Magnet School in Montgomery, Alabama, I knew she was destined for greatness. She came into the interview so self-assured and completely captured the interview. Those years she spent at Baldwin with me I watched her, not only achieve academic success but develop strong leadership skills which emerged rather quickly. That big personality was outshined only by her easy smile. She was respected by teachers, administrators, and students equally. We all knew Jackie was going to become a force to be reckoned with.
My former student and now my adult friend did go on to make her family and me proud. She perfected her skills as a smart and self-assured woman while at the same time not letting go of her basic family values, her engaging personality, and her captivating smile. I am so proud now to call her my friend.
Jackie knows, as I know, that education is the key to all successes. She knows that it is crucial for every child in this state of Alabama to receive the best education possible. She knows that it is incumbent upon every citizen to do everything humanly possible to guarantee the students are not failed on any level. She knows that regardless of their economic status, ethnicity, education level, the children of Alabama must be given the skills to succeed on a global level. Jackie knows that children will rise to any level of expectation and that we must expect and demand they are taught to believe in themselves and to rise to the occasion. As citizens, parents, grandparents, Jackie agrees with me when I say the whole village owes it to the children to create a public school system where all children will be afforded nothing but the best opportunities to achieve.
It is with great pleasure that I encourage all of you to stand with Jackie in her fight for district 54. Support her in any way possible. She will lead you down the right path. She will give you nothing less than her best. Please give my former student and now friend, Jacqueline Gray Miller, your support.