Traneshia Stoudemire standing with her fifth grade students

UAH alumna Traneshia Stoudemire with fifth grade mathematics students at Andalusia Elementary School.

Courtesy of Traneshia Stoudemire

Three years ago, Traneshia Stoudemire (’17, MA, EE) faced a teaching dilemma: a non-English-speaking student transferred to her fifth-grade classroom.

“I felt helpless in how to teach him. The experience was an eye-opener and made me yearn to gain insight on how to best teach English Language Learners (ELLs),” said Stoudemire, a graduate of The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) College of Education. “I researched universities offering online courses for Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL). UAH offered the program I was looking for. I chose the Differentiated Instruction in Elementary Education program with a concentration in TESOL.”

The oldest of her siblings, Stoudemire always enjoyed helping her younger brother and sister with homework. “Little did I know that helping them with their assignments would lead to my calling,” she said. It wasn’t until her junior year of college that she decided on a career in education.

“I’ve always enjoyed children and helping others which led me to pursue a major in Elementary Education. I earned my undergraduate degree in Education at The University of West Alabama. After graduating, I moved back to my hometown of Andalusia where I was hired as a fifth-grade teacher at Andalusia Elementary School (AES).”

Traneshia Stoudemire standing with Dr. Hamsa Mahafza

Traneshia Stoudemire pictured with Dr. Hamsa Mahafza, a lecturer in the UAH College of Education, Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

Courtesy of Traneshia Stoudemire

A gifted student throughout high school, Stoudemire also balanced extracurricular activities with ease. An honors graduate of Straughn High School (Andalusia, Alabama), she was a varsity cheerleader, homecoming queen, Student Government Association secretary, Sigma Xi Explorer, a member of the Spanish Club and National Honor Society, an inductee as a U. S. Achievement Academy All-American Scholar, and Who’s Who Among American High School Students (academics and sports).

Stoudemire graduated from Lurleen B. Wallace Community College attending on a full two-year ambassador scholarship. While there, she was an honor student and Presidential Scholar. She was also initiated into the Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society. After graduating from UWA, Stoudemire was inducted in Alpha Chi, Phi Kappa Phi, and Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Societies. In addition, she is an active member of Delta Kappa Gamma, an international society for women educators, and is one of 20 selected Alabama Bicentennial Master Teachers for the state.

Stoudemire gives UAH a huge thumbs-up for a phenomenal educational experience. “I can honestly say the university’s unique academic instruction made me a better teacher.

“Despite not being in an actual classroom, I learned a wealth of knowledge about differentiated instruction strategies,” said Stoudemire. “Dr. Hamsa Mahafza was one of my favorite professors; she was heaven-sent. Not being physically in her classroom was not an issue. She provided her knowledge and wisdom along with a large quantity of scholarly articles that offered rich information.” Hamsa Mahafza, is a lecturer in the UAH College of Education, Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

The many effective teaching, grouping, and assessment strategies learned at UAH helped Stoudemire tailor her instruction to meet the needs of all her students. “Traneshia is an effective and caring math teacher with so many talents. She has a sophisticated understanding of the complex nature of teaching and learning in diverse educational settings,” said Mahafza. “I taught her graduate courses that focus on differentiation, a teaching method that requires creativity and a lot of preparation to meet the needs of diverse learners. Traneshia takes on any challenge in stride; not just applying the principles of differentiation in her own classroom with excellence, but also taking the lead in assisting her fellow teachers to use this approach in their classrooms. And this is one of the qualities that makes her exceptional,” Mahafza added.

The educational knowledge that I gained at UAH is too good not to share,"

Traneshia Stoudemire (’17, MA, EE)

Stoudemire said, “Being able to meet all of my students’ needs is crucial in allowing each of them to successfully learn the content despite any diverse academic challenges or other hindering factors.

“All classrooms consist of diverse learners; I now know how to plan, teach, and reach all of my diverse learners-despite their differences-by building lessons that allow me to help each student best learn,” she added. “Since earning my master’s degree from UAH, I feel so much more confident as a teacher. I am doing a better job of reaching ALL of my students and not just some of them. My students are happy, excited, and eager to learn.”

Stoudemire noted, too, that with her new teaching formula she sees less frustration on the faces of students performing below grade level and big smiles on the faces of gifted students, because they are no longer bored.

As an Alabama Bicentennial 200 master teacher, Stoudemire shared instructional strategies and activities with other teachers during summer workshops. “The educational knowledge that I gained at UAH is too good not to share. Many teachers face the same challenges that I once faced: how do I reach all students in my diverse classroom? Sharing what I’ve learned with other educators has helped them overcome that challenge.“

Now in her ninth year of teaching at AES, Stoudemire plans to teach for another year before possibly returning to college. ”I’m debating whether I want to teach on the collegiate level or use my UAH degree to apply for an ELL teaching job in the school system.”


Dr. Hamsa Mahafza
UAH College of Education