Salaam Earns 2024 Jim Ed McGee Award

Capri Salaam 2024 Jim Ed McGee Award Winner
Capri Salaam

Capri Salaam knows how important it is to be genuine in her classroom.

“Students can pick up on fake and phony,” said Salaam while speaking to an Educators Rising conference at Arkansas Tech University in 2023. “They will not buy in. It’s hard to have an alternate personality 190 days per year. You must be who you are, and you have to find fun in the classroom in your own authentic way.”

Salaam was selected as the 2024 recipient of the Jim Ed McGee Award, which is presented annually to the most outstanding graduate student at Arkansas Tech.

Nominees for the Jim Ed McGee Award must have completed their graduate course work with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.75.

A 2016 ATU graduate with a Master of Arts in Teaching degree and an emphasis in middle school education, Salaam has served as a multi-classroom lead teacher in the North Little Rock School District since 2018. She teaches and provides support in instructional practices and classroom management for her fellow teachers at North Little Rock Middle School.

Capri Salaam was named the 2023 Arkansas teacher of the year by the Arkansas Department of Education.

“The education I received at ATU was invaluable,” said Salaam. “I started teaching at a charter school in Little Rock. After finishing my first year, I knew I needed a formal education for certification. I contacted the staff at ATU and they encouraged me to apply to graduate school and enroll in the Master of Arts in Teaching program. For nearly two years, I drove to Russellville after school, and I loved every minute of it. The professors were amazing, and I built lifelong friendships with other students.”

The award’s namesake — Dr. Jim Ed McGee — served as vice president for academic affairs at Arkansas Tech from 1973 until the time of his passing in fall 1992.

McGee’s service to Arkansas Tech before attaining the rank of vice president included time as associate professor of education, director of institutional research, director of institutional services and director of development and public relations.

Learn more about the ATU Graduate College at