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Reddick Celebrates 15-Year Anniversary of Discovering a Love of Teaching

Kenee’ Reddick was surrounded by education professionals in her family, from her mother to her uncle, but initially wasn’t keen on becoming a teacher herself.

She knew she wanted to help people in some capacity. While she was in high school, she watched her mother, a teacher’s assistant for more than 40 years, care for her grandmother when she had Alzheimer's. Her mother’s dedication – going home at lunch, and waking up at 4 a.m. – made an impression on her that stuck.

Kenee Reddick smiles with students
Kenee' Reddick with Johnston students Adam Guirguis, left, and Kylie Long.

After earning her degree in human services, Reddick went back to get her master’s degree to be a vocational rehab counselor. Following several jobs that lacked consistency, she saw a paraprofessional opening at PreEminent Charter School and decided to give teaching a try.

She hasn’t looked back since. She celebrated 15 years at National Heritage Academies (NHA) schools in February and now is dean of academic support at Johnston Charter Academy, which outperforms the local district in all subjects.

“I discovered, “OK, I love this, this is really my jam,’” she said. “Once I got into it, I had a passion for helping others. I really loved it. I built really good relationships. I'll still talk to parents that I partnered with when I first started teaching. Building that relationship with the kids and the parents, I’ve just loved it.”

Kenee Riddick and Ashley Rasin
Two of Johnston's deans, Ashley Rasin, dean of lower elementary, and Kenee' Reddick.

Her human services background involved working with people with disabilities and led her to become a special education teacher. She strived to know and make adjustments to students’ Individualized Education Program, build relationships with their parents, learn their needs, and provide consistency to their days.

She was especially proud of a fifth grade student she had at Winterville Charter Academy who couldn't recognize all the letters and numbers. By the time she left the school as an eighth grader, she was reading at a second or third grade level.

In her current role at Johnston, she helps facilitate that growth, monitoring the special education department and coaching teachers.

Johnston Dean Kenee Reddick
Kenee' Reddick celebrated 15 years at National Heritage Academies in February.

“My mentality is all students are capable of learning. You just have to learn what works best to do,” she said. “If you’re trying to explain something to me and you’re just reading off something, I can't grasp what you're saying. I need to see it. Getting to know different students and their learning styles and knowing that it’s OK to think outside of the box, I don’t have to be so rigid. You want to listen to be engaged to reach those students.”

NHA’s commitment to teaching Moral Focus virtues creates a communal environment, and it’s a major reason why Reddick has spent 15 years at various schools.

“I have a really good team,” she said. “We’ve built a culture where if someone needs help, we’re here. I like that if I need help, I can go to my teammates and they’re willing to step in. I like that everyone has an open door policy and they're willing to help in any way they can.”

Keep up the excellent work, Ms. Reddick!

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About Johnston Charter Academy
Johnston Charter Academy is a tuition-free, public charter school in Clayton, North Carolina, serving students in kindergarten through eighth grade. It is part of the National Heritage Academies network, which includes more than 100 tuition-free, public charter schools serving more than 65,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade across nine states. For more information, visit

Visit Johnston Charter Academy's blog to read more stories like this.