‘Servant Leader’

Educational Support Professional of the YearDr. Syreeta McTier was raised to serve others from the day she was born. So, it is no surprise that she became a teacher to serve and educate children. Her dedication to service led her to be named the DeKalb County School District (DCSD) 2023–2024 Educational Support Professional II of the Year during the District’s 10th Annual Academy of Educational Excellence Awards last fall. Dr. McTier expressed gratitude for the prestigious honor she received as an assistant principal at Smoke Rise Elementary School.

“It is a true blessing to receive this esteemed award that recognizes the quality of my work, dedication, and contributions to the DeKalb County School District,” she said.

For 21 years, Dr. McTier has been an educator in DeKalb County Schools. She was inspired to become a teacher by her mother, a dynamic educator and a pillar in the Compton, California community for over three decades. Her mother’s legacy taught her that teachers have the power to impact students and their families for generations.

“During her 34-year career, she taught the children and grandchildren of her former students. My mother is my role model and inspiration as an educator,” said Dr. McTier. “Because of my mother’s example, I selected education as my pathway of service. This distinguished honor is a testament to her influence as I walk in her footsteps.”

Dr. McTier started her profession as a teacher at Jolley Elementary School, where she worked for six years. After that, she became an assistant principal at Robert Shaw Traditional Theme School and served there for four years. After that, she moved to Smoke Rise Elementary, where she has been for 11 years. She expressed that she loves being a part of the Smoke Rise Elementary community.

“Our school environment is warm and caring, with a concentrated focus on student growth and achievement,” she said. “The amazing people, including the students, teachers, staff, principals, administrators, parents, families, and community members, make Smoke Rise Elementary School a special place to work, learn, and grow. While we each have different roles, we work together collaboratively for student success.”

In January, Smoke Rise held a celebration to honor Dr. McTier and other school employees of the year. During the event, Mayor Frank Auman of the City of Tucker presented Dr. McTier with a letter of recognition to congratulate her for being named DCSD’s Educational Support Professional II of the Year.

“It was a heartfelt and memorable celebration for the honorees and our loved ones,” said Dr. McTier.

This outstanding assistant principal plays a crucial role in collaborating with the principal, teachers, staff, students, parents, and community members to improve teaching and learning and enhance student growth and achievement. Her favorite part of her job is celebrating student growth. When she retires, Dr. McTier hopes that her legacy will be that she added value to the educational and professional experiences of others and made a positive difference in their lives.

“My legacy is to help others walk in their purpose, embody love, and inspire excellence,” she said.