Garris Stroud

Garris Stroud is an award-winning ELA educator, author, and advocate from rural Western Kentucky. He is a former Hope Street Group Kentucky State Teacher Fellow and member of the Kentucky Education Commissioner's Teacher Advisory Council (TAC).



After The Last Year And A Half, We Must Never Forget How Resilient Students Are

"Kids today are too fragile. We're raising a generation of snowflakes!" It's a universal truth: As long as there are young people, there will be older people who complain about them. Today's generation of...

Kentucky Becomes Latest State to Distance Itself From NSBA

Kentucky is now one of the latest states to distance itself from the National School Boards Association (NSBA).  In September, the NSBA sent a letter to President Biden requesting federal intervention in school board incidents,...

If Teachers Won’t Come To Our Communities, We’ll Have To Grow Our Own

Reading about new rural teacher recruitment initiatives is like watching a sitcom romance unfold. I want to hope for the best, but I know better. The latest display of this comes from a new initiative...

America’s Rural Schools May Not Be Tragic, But They Have Known Tragedy

Maybe this is the turning point.  Education advocacy is exhausting—particularly in rural communities like mine, where our opportunities are limited and our challenges are unique. A myriad of stereotypes obscure the reality of life in...

What Teachers Can and Can’t Learn from ‘Hillbilly Elegy’ Author J.D. Vance

In his provocative memoir “Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis,” author J.D. Vance describes his childhood upbringing in Middletown, Ohio. Heavily influenced by his family’s Kentucky roots and their...

Could ditching grade levels and seat time be the key to better education?

Northern Cass School District in North Dakota has a story that's familiar to many rural districts. Their graduation rate is high, and their students typically demonstrate above average performances on state tests. However, it...

The Thing I Wish I Had Known Before I Started Teaching

Excellent teaching is what happens when sincerity and authority meet.

Building a better “normal” for all students with community partnerships

It’s no secret that students have suffered academically and emotionally throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. But should the brunt of the recovery process be borne by schools alone, or is a more comprehensive, community-wide approach...

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