By Thomas Sellers Jr.
In recent weeks those who have worked alongside Marshonn Calvin have jumped online to express words of praise about his teaching career.
The longtime Millington Central High School Broadcasting instructor also had former students, mentors, family and friends hope onto lifechangeroftheyear.com to validate his nomination for the 2021 National Life Group Lifechanger of The Year Award.
Nominated back in 2018 by Jessica Tackett, Calvin received his second chance at the prestigious honor when his wife Tamela Woods-Calvin submitted his name and resume’.
“In year 17 God has given me a peace to enjoy what I do,” Marshonn said. “In 17 years, working on the documentary and being nominated has humbled me. I’ve been kind of able to walk this year and enjoy the moment. I know we’re in a pandemic and all but I’ve been able to enjoy the fruit from the labor I’ve put in.
“You’re a doer, you really don’t want to acknowledge it a lot of the time,” he added. “You feel God has put you here for a purpose and do what needs to be done for the greater good. Every kid that comes through that door that seizes the moment with Trojan TV, Broadcasting. They’re all in, I’m going to work with them.”
Countless current and former students hopped onto the site to write passages about how Calvin has influenced them and made an impact on their lives.
Calvin’s colleagues noted his dedication to the program through the Telly Awards, NAACP ACT-SO competitions and other filming opportunities like working with WMC News 5’s Kim Clark and Joe Birch.
Both Calvin and his wife are Rust College alumnus. Tamela noted in a documentary about her husband’s nearly 20 years at MCHS how he has driven children home, feed those who needed a meal and literally put his money where his heart was.
Several students expressed Calvin’s concern about their overall academic well-being made them accountable. Seeing how he reacted to the deaths of students like Jordan Brooks and Breanna Maclin illustrated his devotion to his students.
Calvin keeps their legacies alive by teaching current students about their historic contributions to the program with Brooks being the first ACT-SO category winner in MCHS history.
The MCHS Broadcasting program has professional success stories with students like Quametra Wilborn. Students who didn’t take Calvin’s class like Carla Fields and Jerrica Phelps said his interest and encouragement helped them land careers associated with journalism.
Calvin noted a few names that pop to mind when he is in class like Ruben Seymour, Johnathan Lewis, Chris Welch, Gabe O’Neal, Randall Davis, Stanton Brown, Brittany Ray and much more. He noted it is on the back of them and many more why he was nominated for the Lifechanger Award.
“Reflect on what you do, this nomination has helped him remember them start careers, go to the military, be productive citizen,” he said.
Millington Municipal School Superintendent Bo Griffin and MCHS Principal Mark Neal have given Calvin’s program support in some form and fashion over the years.
“It means a lot to me having them back out here,” he said. “They bring a peace that has been gone a long time for out here.”
When Calvin arrived to MCHS 17 years ago, then Principal Nancy Norwood and veteran educator Vera Tolbert took him under their wings. They expressed to him if you pour into the children the job will bring you joy.
Winning the Lifechanger Award will bring Calvin joy because he will share the rewards with his students. If he wins, the program will be awarded $10,000 to help purchase video production equipment for the broadcasting program and The Trojan TV Show.
Until voting is wrapped up, supporters of Calvin are encourage to continue to vote for him and express how he is a life changer for his work at MCHS.
Every comment that you all make regarding me, my students and our broadcasting program will equal a vote so we need all of your support in order to help us get equipment for the students virtual and hybrid learning in my broadcasting classes.
Click on this link to leave a message which will qualify as a vote for me and my students chances of winning this prestigious award: http://app.lifechangeroftheyear.com/nomination_detail.cfm?NominationID=6519
Calvin said just being nominated and reading all those kind messages is a huge honor. And he noted the key to his successful career has been taking the advice given to him by his late grandfather Alfred Calvin Jr.
“He taught me to listen,” he concluded. “I’m listening and learning from others. There are so many people who have wisdom here. That way I can learn from my older generation. Robbie Gates every Friday I’m watching and listening to him. Charles Malone and those guys I’m listening to them because I want to learn.”