HCS Changemaker: Ms. Galatia Ford
Congratulations to Ms. Galatia Ford, a Biology & Computer Science teacher at Jemison High School, who has been selected as this week’s HCS Changemaker!Graduating from Auburn with a biomedical science degree, Ms. Ford began her career in the medical field as a genetics specialist. While working for a genetics testing company, she began a side job tutoring high school and college students in math and science. Those students started making A’s instead of F’s and she began to develop a real passion for education. Shortly after beginning a master’s program at Alabama A&M, she was hired as a math interventionist at Lee High School. A year later, Principal Anne Jobe referred her for emergency certification and full-time employment. She has since earned her secondary education degree and certification. She says, “I can already tell by the way doors have opened that this is my purpose, my calling, and what was meant for me.”
“Ms. Ford is a great teacher because she makes her lessons very relevant,” says Jemison Principal Dr. Rachael McDaniel, adding that Ms. Ford really puts a lot of thought into her lessons and makes sure students stay interested in science. Ms. Ford brings a lot of real-world experience to the classroom, which includes time she spent shadowing doctors and participating in over 50 different surgeries. She says, “It helps to be able to tell students I’ve seen something in real life.” She also encourages students to relate science to the real world by having a lot of classroom discussions where students learn to express varied opinions in a respectful way.
Ms. Ford works hard to build positive relationships with students, which includes forming a chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority at Jemison. As part of the sorority, she is often working with students outside regular school hours to attend college events and engage in community service. “She’s very outgoing,” says Monae Cherry, “and she’s a people person.” Deunta Moore says, “She is a good teacher because she comes in, she gives a positive attitude, [and] she makes sure you’re having a good day.”
When she isn’t teaching, Ms. Ford really enjoys shopping – especially for clothes. She loves fashion and even used to put on fashion shows in Birmingham, one of which took place at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex (BJCC). She enjoys attending Jemison athletic events to show support for her students. Sometimes, she also likes settling down with a good book.
Ms. Ford wants her students to gain confidence in themselves, to realize their own greatness, and to exercise diligence. She wants them to have the courage to become successful, even if their world tells them they cannot be. She cultivates lessons, relationships, and a positive classroom culture that will ensure her students have great success both now and in the future.