Brian Ashley, 41 has been in education for over 18 years. He is currently a school library media specialist for the Atlanta Public School System where he has been for the past 13 years.

In 2016, he was named “Library Media Specialist of the Year” by the district, and in 2017, he was 1 of 13 school librarians selected by Capstone to appear in their “Power of the Librarians” calendar.

Brian enjoys spreading the love of reading and technology to his students. He is a published children’s book author and has a YouTube web series geared towards children’s literacy.

He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Morris Brown College, a Master’s of Library Science from Clark Atlanta University, and an Educational Specialist degree from Cambridge College. In his spare time, he enjoys attending sporting events, traveling, and spending time with his wife, Kristy, and son, Grant, 5.

Why did you want to become a teacher? In college, I was always interested in teaching and coaching sports. Once I graduated from Morris Brown College, I decided to follow my dreams and teach.

Did you have a teacher that inspired you?

I have had a couple of teachers that inspired me in high school. Coach Salcedio and Coach Wiltz were both teachers and football coaches that I looked up to and admired. They made it cool to want to be an educator. We need more black men in education to continue to guide, mentor, and educate our youth.

I was surrounded by black men throughout my career that helped me become the educator that I am. Mr. Clearance Calloway, Coach Johnny Mitchell, Mr. Jaron Trimble, Mr. Carter Coleman, Coach Rod Taplin, Mr. Dennis Greer, Mr. Norman Whaley, Dr. Reginald Ponder, Dr. Everett Jolly, and Coach Patrick Thomas just to name a few, have given me advice and mentorship to assist me in becoming the educator that I am.

Having recently become a father, has that helped you at work?

The best teaching advice that I’ve received came from my mentor Derrick Gilchrist. He told me that I needed to be the type of educator that I would want for my child. I really don’t think that being a new dad has made me a better educator because I carried that mindset from day one.

What if anything is the biggest personal benefit of your job?

The biggest personal benefit to my job is having the summers off. I’m joking! The biggest benefit is seeing the impact that you have on the next generation. I’ve been in education now for 18 years. It’s a blessing to see kids who are now adults being productive citizens and knowing that you had a hand in that.

Brian Ashley

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