‘I feel like I just made history’: Caddo Schools graduate accepted into Call Me MiSTER program

Christian Holmes (center) is being recognized for being accepted in the Call Me MiSTER program...
Christian Holmes (center) is being recognized for being accepted in the Call Me MiSTER program at Northwestern State University. Call Me MiSTER works to increase the number of minority male teachers across the country.(Jackie Wilson)
Published: Jun. 24, 2021 at 6:27 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 24, 2021 at 7:32 PM CDT
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CADDO PARISH, La. (KSLA) - The celebration continues for a recent graduate of C.E. Byrd High School in Shreveport. Christian Holmes will be attending Northwestern State University in the fall of 2021 to pursue a degree in teaching through a meaningful program.

Call Me MiSTER was created to increase the number of minority male teachers across the country “to address the critical shortage of minority male teachers in America’s classrooms.” MiSTER stands for Mentors instructing Students Toward Effective Role Models.

“I feel like I’m a great leader. I lead people well, I work well with others, and I want to show... kids, specifically young boys, that there is another way to make money and be successful in the world,” said Holmes.

This accomplishment is especially exciting for both Holmes and Caddo Parish Public Schools; district leaders say Holmes is the first person in Caddo Parish to be accepted into Call Me MiSTER.

“It’s great for us as a district to put energy into helping prepare and plant seeds for students in our area to consider teaching as a profession,” said Dr. Karen Peace, a teacher recruiter for Caddo Parish Public Schools. “When they do complete the requirement, we can entice them to come back home to their families and build a career here with us in Caddo.”

To apply for the program, prospective students must be a minority male, come from an underserved or socioeconomically disadvantaged community, major in education, and be academically high-achieving, among other requirements. Students who are accepted benefit from tuition assistance, leadership development, job placement assistance, and exposure to classrooms.

“Teaching is a viable profession and an awesome opportunity to impact your community,” Dr. Peace said. “It’s going to be a great opportunity to get Christian certified in elementary education and come back home to be a teacher in Caddo Schools.”

Holmes says he heard about Call Me MiSTER while on an open house trip at Northwestern State University (NSU).

“The fact that it is lead by minority males and that it’s a group of minority males all with one goal in mind, I feel like I will fit in,” Holmes explained.

When he graduates from NSU, Holmes says he aspires to return to either Keithville or Summerfield Elementary, two schools he grew up in while in his younger years.

Holmes is being recognized for his accomplishment by both Caddo Parish Public Schools and NSU.

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