Educator Latosha Guy was among Cal State L.A.’s educators and community leaders being honored at their annual Distinguished Educators Award Dinner held Nov. 13 at the campus’ Golden Eagle Ballroom. She was one of five people given the Distinguished Educator award for her accomplishments as a reading and language arts teacher at King/Drew Magnet High School of Medicine and Science. The Cal State University Los Angeles alumna has been teaching since 1999.
“Sharing a cultural connection with students is priceless: it makes the translation space needed for instruction smaller,” Guy said in an earlier interview.
“I know what my students can do, in part, because I was just like them. I know that they need a nudge here, a little push there; but really, they need someone who cares and demonstrates that care by showing up and communicating their passion for their subject matter. Students take Ms. Guy seriously, because she takes her content seriously.”
Coming from a household of educators, Guy stepped foot into her first classroom, at age 24, holding herself and her students to high standards from the very beginning. She also embarked upon making her lessons engaging, rigorous and responsive to the cultures of her students. At the heart of these lessons, has been her love for literacy and the belief that teaching children to read prevents them from being able to be enslaved.
She is an advocate for children of color; and the teachers who teach them. Having grown up in poverty, Guy knows the power that education has to transform. Poverty is not a death sentence; being uneducated is, she said.
In addition to teaching, Guy is a burgeoning writer and a passionate mentor. She is also an America Achieves Education Fellow; Culturally Responsive Teaching Fellow; and Superintendent Tom Torlakson’s nominee to the board of the California Writing Project Advisory Board. Her interests include diversification of the teaching force and recruiting and training teachers of color.
Guy is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, and a facilitator of the Delta Teacher Efficacy Academy; a program, sponsored in part by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She holds degrees in African-American Studies and English. She earned her Masters of Education with a specialization in reading and a reading specialist credential in 2008.