Academic journal article Phi Delta Kappan

Emerging Leader

Academic journal article Phi Delta Kappan

Emerging Leader

Article excerpt

Elizabeth Hendrix is passionate about social justice. Hendrix, an assistant professor of education at Missouri Western State University and part of PDK's 2009-2010 Class of Emerging Leaders, credits her drive to make the world a better place to three personal experiences.

Early in her career, Hendrix taught at Meadowcreek High School near Atlanta, Georgia. The school is the most diverse secondary school in Georgia, and many of her students faced poverty and other challenges. When she was working on her doctorate, she had custody of her niece and nephew, who had faced similar issues.

But perhaps most important, Hendrix is inspired by her mother. Hendrix's mother was part Cherokee, was raised with 14 siblings, and had rheumatic fever as a child. The disease left her with ongoing health problems and an enlarged heart.

"She grew up with a lot of poverty and a lot of injustices to face," Hendrix said. "I lost her when she was 54 and I was an undergraduate. On her deathbed, she told me to stay in school, so I did that. …

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