Ashley Greenway: 2016 Allen Distinguished Educator


Educator: Ashley Greenway
School/District: Elm Street Elementary School
Location: Rome, GA

A first grade teacher at Elm Street Elementary in Rome, Georgia, Ashley was recently named Georgia Power STEM Laureate and Elm Street Elementary Teacher of the Year. The STEM Georgia Educator Laureate Awards are designed to reward Georgia K-12 classroom teachers for exceptional work in the area of science, technology, engineering, and math. Ashley advocates that the strength of the maker movement is the collaboration of learners and creation of problem solvers. Her low income, minority students have been empowered to take chances and embrace failures as a way to learn and improve.

Ashley’s most noteworthy classroom initiative is Sugar Kids Beauty, an education corporation designed and run by first grade students. Begun in August 2015, with seed funding from a national company, this business has become a model for successful entrepreneurship in schools. With over $15,000 in sales in just three months, it is the most successful of their funded projects. Ashley and her first grade team have received recognition at forums and organizations statewide, been honored by the local city commission, and taken part in digital marketing with sales in 26 states. Part of the business plan is to give back; the first graders, under Ashley’s leadership, used profits to purchase a six month’s supply of food (1,700 lbs) for the local community kitchen. Sugar Kids Beauty has five student-run departments: Research and Development, Creative Design, Marketing, Finance, and Shipping and Handling. Students become “experts” in their area and take part in the training of new groups as they rotate through stations, thus becoming an innovative and sustainable learning model.

View Ashley Greenway's Video Microdocumentary | View Ashley Greenway's DIY Guide: Hermit Habitat | View Ashley Greenway's Roadmap on: Bringing Entrepreneurship to First Graders | View Ashley Greenway's Roadmap on: Making Parents Partners in the Learning Process