Staci McCloud has high hopes and expectations for her children.
“This is just the beginning,” she says, “And I want [my children] to understand the foundations so that they can be whomever they want to be.”
With two children, ages 4 and 6, she takes her role in laying the foundations seriously: “We read a lot. We talk a lot. I do everything I can to expose them to different ideas and experiences that will spark their imagination and make them say ‘Wow, Mommy’!” From trips to the Art Museum and McWane Science Center to spotting objects by color during the car rides to and from school, Ms. McCloud constantly keeps her children’s curiosity heightened.
“You can’t have a future without education,” Ms. McCloud says, reminiscing about the messages her parents and community consistently reinforced in her as a child. “We all went to school. It wasn’t an option to not finish high school and go to college.”
She expects the same outcomes for her two children. Her youngest aspires to be a doctor and her eldest daydreams about being a racecar driver. Whatever different career paths they may ultimately choose, Ms. McCloud believes that their education is the cornerstone on which their imaginations rest.
McCloud notes that Tuggle Elementary is a school characterized by varying strengths and areas of growth, many of which are shared by other schools in the district. “I have experienced teachers at Tuggle who really care,” she says. “They’ve welcomed me and provided the space for me to get involved.” McCloud believes it’s the role of the school to ensure that parents are connected and engaged in meaningful ways, and as an active member of the PTA, hopes for even more opportunities for parents to get together and bounce ideas off each other. “I want to see everyone working together,” she says. “Not in silos.”
You may find Staci McCloud at PTA meetings, a smile on her face, and her contagious charisma lighting up her eyes. You may find her studying at Miles College and welcoming visitors at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. But you will most certainly find her at Tuggle Elementary with her children, counting steps as they walk hand-in-hand, turning everyday occurrences into learning experiences for her children and inspiring you to do the same.
For this, Ed thanks you, Staci McCloud. You are certainly a parent we are thankful to work with.