Moving Up The Ladder

McKinney-Stokes leaves Trinity after seven years to pursue an administrative role


Anuha Tatineni

McKinney-Stokes loves working with students outside of her classroom and will take on a job in administration after seven years at Trinity.

Iris Lei, News Department Editor

   As a fourth generation teacher, social science teacher Tatiana McKinney-Stokes has familiarized herself with classrooms and the students in them. Although she is leaving Trinity after seven years as a middle school Civics teacher, middle school Assistant Dean, and mock trial coach, she will continue working with students with a move into administration.

   McKinney-Stokes received her undergraduate degree at the University of Missouri, her first master’s degree at Sarah Lawrence College in women’s history, and a second degree from Adams State University. She began teaching general education in elementary school and English as a Second Language (ESL), which she also did while living in Beijing. McKinney-Stokes enjoyed helping students learn English, but she wanted to use her degrees while teaching, which led her to Trinity.

   “[I] really liked the school when I interviewed and thought it was a good place for me to start teaching the subject,” McKinney-Stokes said.

   In middle school Civics, rap battles about opposing figures in history were always memorable. When she first introduced them, the students were unsure about the project.

   “The reception at first was like, ‘she’s lost it. She’s crazy,’” McKinney-Stokes said. “It was kind of cool…when the kids started to realize I wasn’t trying to punish them.”

   According to her, many students told her how the rap battles helped them after 8th grade. 

   She also started the middle school mock trial team after being on the junior varsity team in her high school, which sparked her interest in law and policy.

   I decided to start it at Trinity because I started to notice when I did mock trials in my classroom, the kids were really interested, and they wanted to do it in a more competitive format,” McKinney-Stokes said.

   McKinney-Stokes plans to pursue administration next, as she enjoys helping students outside her classroom and working with other teachers.

   “I just realized that I’ve done everything I could possibly do here,” McKinney-Stokes said. “It’s time for me to move more into administration and just find a different spot where I can try to make a difference and help other kids figure out their passions.”

   She has lived all over the world, including Beijing, New York City, Washington DC, Memphis, Chicago, and Mississipi. Her next job takes her into Denver, Colorado.

   “I’ve lived in the east, I’ve lived abroad,” McKinney-Stokes said. “This is the first time I’ve lived on the west coast.”

   Her favorite part of teaching at Trinity was building relationships with her students and seeing them find what they took a liking to in Civics.

   “I’m going to miss all the students I’ve connected with and [gotten] to know,” McKinney-Stokes said. “Because I know so many kids…it’s been cool to watch people grow up.”