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Alumni Highlights

Mr. Wallace Aristide, ‘85

Kudos to 1985 Bethune-Cookman graduate Mr. Wallace Aristide, principal at Miami Northwestern Senior High School. Mr. Aristide was chosen as one of three gold medallion  winners and honored with the 2014 Leonard Miller Principal Leadership Award by the Council for Educational Change. Each year, the Council awards $10,000 to a deserving principal as the winner of this award. Some of Mr. Aristide’s accomplishments since becoming principal at Miami Northwestern include moving an “F” labeled school academically for 14 years to achieve an “A” rating; increasing the graduation rate from 55% to 82%; increasing the number of Advanced Placement (AP) classes from 4 to 14, and adding dual enrollment classes.

Ironically, Assistant Professor Joan C. Thompson, a graduate of Miami Northwestern Senior High, was in Miami at a banquet delivering the main address “What Is Your Measure of a Successful Life” when Principal Aristide walked in. After the banquet, Principal Aristide and his former professor and athletic advisor, Ms. Thompson, exchanged hugs and kisses and filled the banquet room with exhilaration when they embraced on the dance floor.

Allyson L. Watson, PhD, ‘98

Dr. Allyson L. Watson, a 1998 Elementary Education major from Bethune-Cookman College has treaded new paths to bring social justice and educational equity across the country.  WatsonCurrently, Dr. Watson is serving as the Eddings Endowed Chair for Urban Education, Outreach and Research at Northeastern State University. The endowment provided by the Eddings family foundation is the first of its kind at Northeastern State University. Dr. Watson served the College of Education as assistant dean and associate professor of education in the Department of Educational Foundations and Leadership. Allyson completed her master’s (M.Ed.) and doctoral (PhD) degrees in educational administration, curriculum and supervision from the University of Oklahoma. At the age of 25 Allyson was the youngest African American to graduate with a PhD in Educational Leadership from the University of Oklahoma.

Prior to her career at Northeastern State University, Dr. Watson served as Assistant Director at the University of Oklahoma-Center for Educational & Community Renewal (now K-20 Center). Additionally, her educational career and experience includes teaching 1st-8th grade in the urban areas within Tulsa Public Schools. Dr. Watson is a member of the National Council of Negro Women and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Dr. Watson has focused her research on urban education, faculty of color in higher education, and urban school and university partnerships. Dr. Watson is a graduate faculty member has a substantial amount of teaching experience in courses such as educational research, advanced educational measurements and statistics, public school relations, and instructional strategies.

In 2010, Dr. Watson founded Teaching & Urban Reform Network (TURN), a program to prepare pre-service teachers in urban education and encourage effective pedagogical practices. Her work with TURN has served as a platform for successful acquisition of grants, research presentations and journal articles and a book chapter. She has presented at more than 40 state, national and international research conferences, written two research grants, and has published articles focusing on her research interests. Because of her research on school-university partnerships within urban schools, Dr. Watson was instrumental in establishing various partnerships with NSU and KIPP Tulsa College Preparatory, as well as other local school programs.

Dr. Watson is a 2014 Inaugural Genesis Scholar named by the National Historically Black College and University Digest as an alumnus providing major contributions in higher education. She is also a 2009 recipient of the Oklahoma Magazine “40 under 40” most influential Oklahoman’s, the 2009 NSU Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Award and the 2012-2013 recipient for the College of Education Outstanding Faculty in Service award. Dr. Watson has been nominated for the NSU Circle of Excellence in all three areas, research, teaching and service.

As a Gates Millennium Scholar alumnus, Allyson has served as a scholarship reviewer for the United Negro College Fund and a leader on mentorship as part of the Gates Millenniums Scholarship program efforts. Allyson was voted by the inaugural Gates Millennium Scholars Alumni Association as the first president. In this role she also served a three year term as the Gates Millennium Scholars Advisory Council. Allyson L. Watson is an inaugural alumnus from the Gates Millennium Scholars program and currently serves as the immediate past president of the Gates Millennium Scholars Alumni Advisory Council. Since she began her career in education in 1998, Allyson has been committed to making a difference in the lives of students, urban schools, and teachers that she encounters. Dr. Watson believes that her job as an educator is to empower others to believe in themselves and their capacity to achieve their goals. Dr. Watson is married and she and her husband Darrick reside in Tulsa, Oklahoma with their three children.

Tamiika Harvard ‘03

Harvard“I have been a teacher in Volusia County for twelve years. My passion for teaching has inspired me to be an active leader in my school and district. In addition to being a General Education classroom teacher, I serve as a department chair for my grade level, am a Lead Teacher responsible for mentoring second year teachers, and serve as a Vice President on the Executive Board for the Volusia County’s Teacher Organization. I am also the Chairperson of the Professional Development Schools Committee between Westside Elementary and Bethune-Cookman University; therefore I have the opportunity to serve as Cooperating Teacher to many interns, specifically from Bethune-Cookman University. In my teaching career thus far, I have been recognized as a 2010 Teacher of the Year and Daytona Beach Hometown Hero. Being a Bethune-Cookman graduate means that it is my duty to be a service to my community and demonstrate my love for Education. “

Hollie K. Henry ’07

Hollie K. Henry is an Academic Intervention Teacher at Westside Elementary School, located in Daytona Beach, FL. Her previous experience was teaching 1st and 2nd grades at Westside. She presently serves as the Professional Development Contact, VIMS Facilitator, a member of the Leadership Team, and PTA President within Westside Elementary. During her encroachment of five years at Westside, she has been Grade Chair, Teacher of the Month, Teacher of the Year Nominee twice, dance coach, sponsor, and Special Events Coordinator. As a fall 2007 graduate of Bethune-Cookman University,Henry, Holly she takes pride in knowing that the institution she earned her degree from prepared her for a career in education. She loves knowing that she has a family and support system within the faculty and staff of B-CU.:”I entered to learn, and since I have graduated, I always strive to serve others in my community and leave an encouraging impact on the lives I touch.”

Timothy Mills, ‘08

“I am the Music Teacher at Westside Elementary School, here in Daytona Beach. I am the founder of the Westside Elementary Marching Eagles Band. This group has received special Tim Millsrecognition and awards over the past five years of its existence bringing another exciting and positive energy to our school. I also serve as a mentor to a number of young gentlemen at my school. I am currently enrolled at the Great Bethune-Cookman University seeking a Master’s Degree in Exceptional Student Education.

To be a graduate of Bethune-Cookman University means that there is another educated individual who has departed to serve and make a difference. It means to be well prepared to use what you know and be willing and eager to learn and conquer that which you don’t. It means you have been given what you needs to be successful and highly encouraged to be self-motivated and determined to succeed.”

Nicole Smith, ‘10

Nicole Smith, a 2010 graduate in Physical Education K-12, is in her 3rd year of coaching as South Fork Varsity Girls’ Basketball coach. Nicole SmithSouth Fork finished the 2014—15 with a 15-7 season, and won the Class 6A District Championship, the first in 20 years. Ms. Smith also coaches Boys’ Varsity Bowling and Girls’ Varsity Flag Football.

In 2014, Ms. Smith graduated from FSU with a master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Policy and currently holds the title of Team Leader of Athletics at South Fork Senior High School.

Shawana Brooks, ‘12

From living a college life of an active Student Advisory Council and Education honor society member, to an instant mommy to her toddler sister, Shawana Brooks managed to provide a healthful, loving home to her younger sister, while maintaining her grades, holding down a job, and graduating on schedule from Bethune-Cookman University as a Biology Education major.

After graduation, Ms. Brooks and her little sister moved to Atlanta, where she obtained a position as a co-teacher while she attends Georgia State University where she is studying to earn a Master’s degree in Science Education

Shanice English, ‘13

Shanice English, a 2013 graduate in Exceptional Student Education is a CTE Teacher at Luke C Moore Academy SHS in Washington, DC. Ms. English is teaching alternative students 18—22 years of age, and will soon become the Department Chair for CTE in only her 3rd year of teaching. Her principal says “B-CU is producing some great teachers!” Ms. English is also attending graduate school to earn her master’s in Instructional Design and Technology. “I’m so grateful for my training and experience gained from you all in the School of Education. Thanks again!

Brendon L. Johnson, ‘14

Brandon L. Johnson is a 2014 graduate of Bethune-Cookman University. He obtained a degree in Music Education. While at B-CU, Brendon had the honor and privilege to reign as the 3rd Mr. Bethune-Cookman University where he launched major record-breaking initiatives such as the Male Empowerment Summit. He now works both at Bethune-Cookman University as the Coordinator of Male Educational Programs and Initiatives, and as Student Liaison for Atlantic High School teaching beginning piano and freshman research. Brendon is currently a grad student at B-CU majoring in Exceptional Student Education and at UCF majoring in Music.

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