Michael Bonner is an inspiring elementary school teacher at Atlanta’s Ron Clark Academy. He is consistently seen as a visionary leader who strives to create a positive mindset among all of his students. His students come to class each day with diverse backgrounds, strengths, needs, and challenges. Therefore, he identifies strategies to ensure their growth socially, emotionally, academically, and psychologically. Due to his educational approach, students leave more hopeful, challenged, inspired, and forever a part of Bonnerville.
In early 2017, Bonner was honored by Ellen DeGeneres in recognition of his positive and innovative educational approaches for children coping adverse childhood experiences. This is when Ellen learned of how Mr. Bonner’s mind capturing teaching methods encouraged students to go above and beyond on a reading test. Ellen presented Bonner and his school with technical equipment to assist in the creation of music videos serving as aids to education. “I wish I could go back to second grade, so Mr. Bonner could be my teacher,” were the words Ellen DeGeneres released on her social media accounts to 50+ million followers. Additionally, Wal-Mart presented the school with $25,000, and the Ellen Show created a Go Fund Me site for South Greenville, which has raised over $88,000 for the Title I school.
His candid, enthusiastic seminars challenge listeners to create diverse, inclusive education plans “where students can see themselves within the lessons and assessments” as a means to increase student success rates. He empowers his audiences to build genuine relationships with their students because “you can’t demand a withdrawal from someone you have never invested in.”