Teach For America Charlotte-Piedmont Triad 2006
Director of Public Information, Midlands Technical College
Kevin Floyd sums up his commitment to schools in seven words.
“I believe education can save the world.”
A two-year service with Teach For America (TFA) from 2006 to 2008 helped forge Floyd’s belief. He had considered education as a career while in high school and as an undergraduate at the University of South Carolina, but a natural gift for journalism drew him into a successful decade producing news.
Then, on New Year’s Eve of 2005, tired of reporting about “fires and tornados,” as he put it, Floyd gave up dimly lit production rooms for the buzzing fluorescents of a first-grade classroom in Charlotte, North Carolina.
To this day, Floyd displays a photograph of his students at J.H. Gunn Elementary School where he was placed by TFA.
“This was by far the hardest yet most rewarding thing I’ve ever done,” he said. “Teaching any group of students is difficult, but doing so in a poor, inner-city school where more than half of my students didn’t speak English at home presented challenges that are hard to comprehend … unless you’ve been there.”
After teaching, Floyd returned to his journalism roots to work in public relations. But in 2020 when Midlands Technical College offered him a position as director of public information, he signed on.
“This job is my sweet spot,” said Floyd. “It combines all the skills I’ve learned as a journalist and business communicator with my true passion of education.”
Midlands Technical College is his mission.
“Our goals are aligned with TFA in that we want to provide quality education that is accessible to all,” said Floyd. “We develop the skills of someone who is not your typical college student, which allow that person to provide for a family.”
He lauds a Midlands Technical College Foundation program called Bridging the Gap Fund.
“It blows my mind how many students are doing well but have to drop out because they don’t have just $400 for a tuition payment,” said Floyd. “This program pays those bills and allows those students to stay in college. It’s a fail-safe and the only backstop for some students.”
He continued, “I believe in second chances and redemption. Many people do well, given a second chance.”
Floyd’s bone-deep belief in the rewards of education led him to serve on Teach For America South Carolina’s advisory board. He champions the virtue of service.
“The most important trait for an educator is a servant heart,” said Floyd. “You have to want to serve others.”
He added, “Real teachers don’t go into a classroom believing they’re there because they’re better or smarter. They’re there because they believe they can provide something that kids don’t have. What a lot of kids need in life are more adults who care for them.”
Floyd gives special credit to TFA for such teachers.
“Year after year, hundreds of teacher vacancies show clearly that there are not enough people with a teacher’s heart in South Carolina,” he said. “TFA is reaching far and wide and down deep to find the right people who are willing to step into classrooms and accept the responsibility of teaching our students.”
“I don’t believe there’s a way to put a price on that.”