When you come from a family of career educators, maybe it isn’t a surprise when you find yourself as an educator one day, too. As a child, Eve Slaughter wanted to be an attorney or a chef, but at the age of 16, when her godparents discovered a need to help children in their church community raise their grades, they started a tutoring program in the very school - Lincoln Elementary - where Eve’s grandmother taught for many years. Eve’s “yes” to tutoring was the beginning of her career as an educator, living into the legacy of her family of educators who’d been teaching in Memphis since the 1950s.
Meet Eve Slaughter, the new principal-in-residence of Cornerstone Prep School, serving families in the Parkway Village and Sherwood neighborhoods, making it the 4th school in the Capstone Education Group (CEG) family of schools. Eve is a native Memphian, leaving just long enough to earn her bachelor’s degree at MTSU. She went on to earn a Master’s of Curriculum and Instruction from Union University and an Ed.S. in School Administration and Leadership from Arkansas State University.
Read the interview below to get to know her!
Tell us a little bit about your teaching background. I’ve been teaching for over a decade, since the fall of 2008, and I’ve taught a variety of grades and subjects from 5th grade math and science to 4th grade reading and math. My most recent experience was at an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, where I taught for just shy of 5 years, teaching a variety of grades and subjects: kindergarten, 4th grade math and reading then back to 3rd grade reading.
Do you have a favorite subject to teach? I really enjoy teaching reading. A book can take you places where you, in your wildest dreams, could never imagine going. You get to experience life through a book! You don’t have to go to the ocean to know what the ocean is like. Through a rich text, you can experience what a trip to the beach might be like!
Why did you want to join CEG? I want to be a part of bringing justice to education in Memphis, a desire that CEG shares, providing children with the best experience and the best exposure.
What are some of the hopes you have for this new school? I hope to catch kids early - Kindergarten and 1st grade - and set them up for success. If you build a strong foundation, you can go anywhere and do anything, but you have to have that strong foundation in order to matriculate and matriculate well. We want to provide students with these foundations through providing excellent educational opportunities, opportunities that students in other neighborhoods have.
What are some of the hopes you have for educational opportunities for students and their families in Memphis as a whole? One of the things we know about Memphis is that we are one of the poorest urban cities in the country, but the wealth, or lack thereof, is isolated to certain areas of the city. This disproportionately affects black and brown families. When we think about education, we think about the family unit and how we make the lives of these families better; we want to be a part of educating the whole family.
A school is the heart of a community. If we create excellent schools, we can help create excellent communities. You grow the thinkers and the doers in that community. This happens through providing opportunities not only within the school but outside the school - community gardens, family meetings, etc. Those little pieces are how families can make an impact and help their students to be successful both in the community and in the city.
Thanks so much for letting us get to know you! Now, what do you need before you start in August 2021? We need 75 Kindergarteners and 75 teachers who want to found a school and do hard work in the community where we are serving - Sherwood and Parkway Village. We will add on a grade per year until it’s a K-8 school. It is exciting that in 2020 when many things are a “no,” we get to say “yes” to begin this new school! Not only am I a CEG educator, but I am a CEG parent! My children attend Cornerstone Prep Lester and enjoy their experience. Their teachers are patient and passionate about the work that they do every day. I’m eager to continue that work with our new school!