LaToya Brumfield

"I treat every student the way I would want my own child to be treated in the same or similar situation."

LaToya Brumfield is one tough cookie. Born and raised in New Orleans, she lives her life with great conviction and commitment. Although her own mother went “above and beyond” to provide for LaToya and her three siblings, many of her school friends were not taken care of properly because of the impoverished community in which they all lived. Not surprisingly, LaToya’s childhood prepared her well for her life’s calling: teaching. Charged with the care of her younger siblings as a child while her mother worked nights, she spent countless hours helping them with their homework. In the summertime, her cousins came to her family home, and she taught them, too.  “I believe God called me to teach. I have been a teacher for most of my life,” she said.

LaToya teaches Middle School Language Arts, both on-level and Honors courses. She is also the Middle School English community chair. She and her husband, who are high school sweethearts, were both recruited from New Orleans to teach for Gwinnett County Public Schools in 2003 in order to diversify the teacher workforce. Then, after winning Teacher of the Year for North Gwinnett Middle School in 2015, she was recognized for her teaching excellence and offered a position here at GAC. She has one daughter, Kamryn, who is a current GAC 6th grader. She also has an adult son who lives in the local Atlanta area.


Although LaToya has taught children from all backgrounds, from the affluent to the impoverished communities, she says, “Kids are kids no matter if they are rich or poor.  I value all children no matter what background they come from. You have to wear many hats as a teacher: mom, nurse, teacher, and confidant. The bottom line is that I treat every student the way I would want my own child to be treated in the same or similar situation. I have lived by this rule of thumb since I began my teaching career in August of 2000.”
 
As strong as she is, LaToya has always leaned upon the Lord without hesitation. Her most cherished part of her job here at GAC is having the opportunity to pray before meetings and during class. As a public-school teacher, she still prayed, but she did so silently and privately. “I have never prayed out loud so much in my life! I could not do this in public school, and it is wonderful that I get to share my whole self with my students,” she said. She used to put her hands on her students’ shoulders, and she would pray for them silently in her head. Now she says she is “free to be me…and pray out loud every day.”
 
LaToya’s grit and determination are clear from the first moment you meet her. Her work ethic is strong, and she expects and trains her students to develop their habits in the same way. “My work ethic is everything to me. It is who I am. I am driven, and I won’t give up,” she said. Planning weeks and even months in advance, LaToya is always prepared. If a lesson that she planned doesn’t work, she scraps it and starts over. She says she is “truly obsessed” with finding a better way. “I never settle for good enough. I have to go above and beyond every single day. I never want to disappoint my students. I want to ensure they are prepared for high school and beyond,” she said.
 
No one will say that her classes are easy, but every Spartan will say that they learned a great deal from them. LaToya’s favorite Bible verse mirrors her life and her commitment perfectly: Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.James 1:12