An award-winning educator who dedicated four decades of her career to teaching students at all levels of their academic journeys, Ruth Ann Wright Britton is regarded for her compassion, tenacity and expertise as an educator. Retired in 2005, she concluded her tenure as an instructor at Cochise College in Douglas, Ariz. She worked in this capacity for 12 years, during which time she also assumed responsibilities as head of the department. Before coming into this dual role, Ms. Wright Britton had already established her reputation of excellence as a teacher. Previously, she held many prominent roles at the primary and secondary levels. She was director of the Junior High School Reading Laboratory for Hillsborough County Public Schools in Tampa, Fla., from 1986 to 1992. She was also a Chapter I Reading teacher for Montgomery County Public Schools in Christiansburg, Va., from 1982 to 1986, and a teacher for second- to fifth-grade students at Manhattan City Schools in Kansas. Ms. Wright Britton began her career as a fifth-grade teacher for the School District of Pickens County in 1966.
The highlight of Ms. Wright Britton’s career was developing a program at Cochise College for high school students. “The work I did impacted a lot of students, and changed some of the things the college did,” she recalls. “As a reading teacher, I had four levels of students at the high school level. The two upper levels were just on the verge of a 12th grade reading level, which meant that they should have been taking college courses.”
Along with a colleague and the support of the college’s dean, Ms. Wright Britton developed a program to put 15 of her reading students in college-level courses for which they would receive credit. The program was incredibly successful, with 95% of students passing with high grades and earning credit toward their future curriculum at Cochise Community College. When asked of her motivation to implement such programs and always be looking toward the next project, Ms. Wright Britton’s answer is simple: she loves seeing her students succeed.
In recognition of her professional excellence, Ms. Wright Britton was inducted into the Cochise College Hall of Fame. The college also named her an Outstanding Instructor. Ms. Wright Britton was honored for her excellence in education by the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development and named Teacher of the Year by TCJS. Inspired by her former teachers and all of her students to reach this level of success, Ms. Wright Britton notes she could not have achieved this level of success without first investing in her own education. Most recently, she was recognized amongst Marquis Who’s Who of Professional Women.
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