Degrees and Certifications:
Dr. Vincent J. Hunter
Dr. Vincent J. Hunter Executive Principal of Whitehaven Empowerment Zone
A Tiger’s Tale
Whitehaven High School’s teachers and students are on the move 24/7, leading the way to academic success; all while seeing the vision through the eye of the Tiger.
Dr. Vincent J. Hunter serves as the primary interface between Whitehaven High School and its parents and students, commonly referred to as stakeholders for residents who reside in the Whitehaven community. A graduate of Whitehaven High (1982), Memphis State University (1990), University of Memphis (2000), and California Coast University (2006); this preceptor is passionate about learning and the educational challenges faced by our young people.
Well trained and voiced in Jean-Jacques Rousseau philosophy of education; where the study of such questions as what education is and what its purpose is, the nature of the knowing mind and the human subject, problems of authority, the relationship between education and society. Dr. Vincent Hunter has adopted one primary principle as an educational practitioner; Every Child has Worth and Dignity.
Hunter, a self-described hard worker, often recounts the words of his mother Mrs. Lisbon Juanita Hunter: “Don’t try to outsmart people, just outwork them.” Using this as motivation for the challenges he faces on a daily basis ensuring his students are afforded every opportunity to be successful both in and out of the learning environment. He seeks to move through the 21st century, by positioning his scholars to receive the teachings of their preceptors who have been charged with higher standards, the enhancement of teacher instructional delivery methods and the improvement of yet the pillar of our nation’s educational system, State and National Standardized Testing. Dr. Hunter encourages his faculty to rise to the demands of the workplace, embrace technology, and approach the challenges our students face with dignity and precision all while providing real-world experiences to them.
With over 24 years of experience as a Mathematics Teacher, principal, and now Executive Principal of the Whitehaven Empowerment Zone, Dr. Hunter serves as a Principal Mentor for Shelby County Schools’ Urban Education Executive Leadership Program, New Leaders New Schools, and Christian Brothers University. When he is not interfacing with aspiring principals or ensuring all points are covered as it relates to the district’s expectation of him as a principal; you can find this preceptor drawing parallelograms or showing students how to solve for “x” in order to complete an Algebraic equation.
During his family time with his wife Tracy at his side, Hunter can be found cheering his sons Vincent Jr. and Tyler on the football field and his daughter Taylor on the volleyball court. He is most proud of being a member of the Parkway Village Church of Christ where he met his wife and communes weekly with family and friends.
“The first school in the Whitehaven area, established in 1843, was a one room affair with a few hand carved benches named Pisgah and sometimes called Edmiston School. Col. Francis M. White came to the community in 1854 to launch a railroad- building project. The first stop on the railroad line was called White’s Station, then White’s Haven and eventually Whitehaven. When Tennessee mandated public education in 1872, White donated one acre of land to the people of the community to build a school. Whitehaven Academy was built in 1875, and the school offered classes at both the high school and elementary level. A separate high school was established in 1890 and became known as Neel High School. This facility graduated its first student in 1894. Neel High School’s name was changed to Whitehaven High School in 1900 when it consolidated with a private school in the area. The school was accredited and given the highest high school scholastic rating in 1913. From its rural beginnings in 1843 as a one-room schoolhouse, Whitehaven has grown into one of Memphis’ finest schools with a rich tradition of excellence.”
As many of you know, Whitehaven High School has maintained a tradition and reputation of excellence for over 100 years. Located on thirty-nine plus acres in the southern part of Memphis, the school continues to be an integral part of the community. Whitehaven is honored by its professional alumni who frequently return to visit the historic hallways of composites, especially during our annual Whitehaven Empowerment Zone(WEZ) Expo, and mentor current students. Loyal alumni, who have chosen the education profession as a career, dedicate themselves to the students of Whitehaven High School. Whitehaven High School currently has thirty (30) graduates on staff and fifty-two(52) former gradates working in the WEZ ! We truly believe in our product!!!
The cornerstone or foundation of any neighborhood is the self-worth and effectiveness of the educational facilities found in that community. Ergo, a weak or ineffective school, that lacks resources that aide in effectively educating it’s students, usually equates to a weak and crime infested neighborhood or community. The Death and Life of the Great American School System affirms my belief surrounding choice only schools and the need for Shelby County Schools to preserve the benefits of community and continuity that neighborhood schools offer. Choice only schools destroy communities and continuity. Choice schools, like the ones in Milwaukee, built upon voucher usage showed some gains but not significant enough that we destroy communities. Charter schools, which I think are malignant and will eventually destroy public education, attracts our most intrinsically motivated students and their parents. Although charter schools attract these students, charter school results holistically are not consistently producing increased academic gains greater than traditional or community schools. https://www.newsweek.com/charter-schools-vs-public-schools-funding-test-scores-performance-1461659. This was evident in a 2003 national study by the Department of Education; they found that charter schools performed, on average, no better than traditional public schools. Critics say the study was initially suppressed because desired results were not found. Another study by the Walton Family and the Dell Foundation encompassed a huge sample, 70% of all charter students. This study showed that 83% of charter schools were either no better or actually worse than traditional public schools serving similar populations. In fact, researchers infer that ineffective or bad charter schools could outnumber good ones 2 to 1. https://www.ncsl.org/research/education/charter-schools-research-and-report.aspx. https://scpolicycouncil.org/research/education/lawmakers-take-aim-at-charter-school-system.
The metamorphic change in the Memphis community, technological advancement, and global competition has far outpaced what American Secondary Education provides for students, despite the ongoing efforts of educators, business partners and communities to improve our schools. Course level expectations, competencies and objectives set by educators at all levels of academia are not closing the gap, especially the gap encountered by economically disadvantaged children. The focus on end of course exams, TNReady, TCAP assessments, NAEP assessments, Advanced Placement exams, dual state-wide courses, SAT examinations and ACT examinations, as the true measures of academic excellence, is slowly but surely limiting our young people’s chances of experiencing any semblance of life's successes and post-secondary education; ironically, these chances are what parents and community members hold us accountable for and expect us to extend to their children.
Today, Whitehaven High School and the WEZ have a unique opportunity. We have an opportunity to have a newly constructed STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) building on our campus. The access, options, and opportunities this new building generates, along with quality educators, will change the entire educational trajectory for all children in the 38116 and 38109 zip codes of Memphis. Children from A. Maceo Walker Middle School, Geeter K-8 School, Havenview Middle School, Holmes Road Elementary School, John P. Freeman Optional School, Oakshire Elementary School, Robert R. Church Elementary School and Whitehaven High School will have an opportunity to experience state of the art technology and classrooms as it relates to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. These experiences are priceless!
But, the opportunity to experience these unprecedented experiences come with a price. This is where we need your help. Please consider financially supporting our children’s future by completing the link below. Your donation will go directly to the construction and development of Whitehaven’s new STEM building, and will impact the education of generations to come. The Calvary is not coming; we are the Calvary and we must demand academic excellence now, or we lose a generation of children to the wars of the underworld! The return investment of your financial commitment will change the face of the Whitehaven Community, Memphis and ultimately our country.