The Dr. Andrew T. Kemp Scholarship is a $5,000 tuition scholarship awarded to a student graduating from Rockledge High School and attending a college or university the following Fall.
"Think about yourself 10 years in the future. What do you think the world might look like? How will you contribute to that world?"
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Dr. Andrew T. Kemp is an Associate Professor of Curriculum and Instruction at Augusta University in Georgia, where he's been an educator for almost 9 years. Prior to that, he'd held teaching posts at several other universities following his nearly 10 years as an educator at Rockledge High School in Rockledge, FL. He graduated from the University of South Florida in 1992, received his Master of Education degree from South Dakota State University in 1996, and achieved a Doctorate in Education from the University of Central Florida in 2007.
There are few professions that enable people to have such an immeasurable, ongoing impact on the world than that of a teacher.
In elementary school, teachers guide us through the basics of learning and inspire our passions for subjects of future interest and pursuit. In middle school, teachers help us transition into a more rigorous education and learn to live in a more complex social environment while dealing with changes in our own minds. In high school, teachers refine our interests in subjects and activities that shape our futures and help prepare us for our lives as adults.
Thousands of lives are shaped by a teacher throughout their careers, and countless lives are impacted by those shaped lives in turn. Many of us are especially impacted by individual teachers who set us on a specific course.
I was fortunate enough to grow up in the Brevard County Public School system, where all three phases of my initial schooling were guided by excellent educators. It would be impossible for me to individually recognize every educator and administrator who contributed to who I am today.
In the context of my professional career, however, one teacher had a uniquely significant impact: Mr. Kemp (and yes, more than a decade later, I still call him "Mr. Kemp"). He taught AP English Language and Composition at Rockledge High School when I was attending there as a member of the Class of 2006.
His work educating me in rhetoric and composition has been a vital variable in my career as a communications professional. Countless meetings have been brought to a confused pause while the attendees tried to process the random Latin or Greek names of rhetorical devices that I've brought up while explaining our communications strategies.
His work educating me in life and the role I can play in the world was equally impactful. He helped me see the broader range of complex issues in our world and helped me see -- and believe -- the greater impact that we can all make.
So, in honor of the many great teachers I had growing up in Brevard County and educators everywhere who put up with kids like me, it is my great pleasure to name this scholarship after Mr. Kemp.
p.s: He'd probably give this "Background" essay a C+ at best. 😄