COE Community of Scholars Visit Ron Clark Academy

ECU’s College of Education recently took 14 junior education majors to the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta. All 14

COE student Madison Williams takes a "selfie" with Ron Clark.

COE student Madison Williams takes a “selfie” with Ron Clark.

students are four-year scholarship recipients in the college’s Education Community of Scholars.


The Ron Clark Academy is a nationally recognized, nonprofit middle school located in Southeast Atlanta. The Academy has received both national and international recognition for its success in educating students of vast multi-cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Daisy Carson Latham Scholar, Madison Williams, has been looking forward to this trip for three years. “During my senior year of high school at the scholarship interviews, I found out that the scholars were able to experience the Ron Clark Academy during their junior year. I immediately told my mom that I was going to be a four year scholar at ECU so I could go on that trip,” said Williams.

Dr. Dionna Manning, Director of the Education Community Scholars and Education Living and Learning Community, facilitated and accompanied her students on the trip.

“I loved seeing the energy and excitement on the faces of these amazing ECU preservice teachers as they ran

Alyssa Jernigan and Rachel Lowery observe a student work on a math problem at the Ron Clark Academy.


through the doors at the Ron Clark Academy and explored and learned about the history and culture of Atlanta. What a wonderful group of amazing students,” said Manning.


In giving her students an opportunity to see the Ron Clark Academy, Dr. Manning not only witnessed her students’ excitement. She also provided a life changing experience for these future educators.

“Today, I went to the Ron Clark Academy and was able to experience my dream,” said Williams. “It was the best experience an educator could have!”

Ron Clark, founder of The Ron Clark Academy, was a Teaching Fellow at ECU and graduated in Elementary Education in 1994. Clark taught in rural North Carolina and New York City before founding the Ron Clark Academy in 2007 in Atlanta, GA. In 2000, he was named Disney’s Outstanding Teacher of the Year. Clark’s first year teaching in Harlem was the focus of a 2006 movie, The Ron Clark Story, starring Matthew Perry.


ECU COE students with alumnus Ron Clark at the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta.