One In A Million: February 2023 – Black History Month Spotlight: Ebony Bodden


How long have you been a teacher?
This July will be my 13th year teaching.  I taught for eight years in my hometown of New Orleans (yes, it’s still Geaux Saints) and five years in Arizona.

What made you get into the teaching profession?
I have always wanted to share the knowledge of history, especially Black History with others.  My degree is in History with a minor in African American studies. I love telling historical facts to people. I often find that I clarify a lot of common misunderstandings.

Who was your most inspirational teacher and why?
I have many inspirational teachers that have guided me throughout my life.  The one teacher that really sticks out the most is my college professor and Dean of History Dr.Das. She was so motivational, impactful, & she pushed me to my full potential in college! She encouraged me throughout my academic career.

What “fills your cup” when you’re running on empty?
My family, I have 4 adult children (1 daughter and 3 sons), one granddaughter, and a loving partner. Talking to them and making memories with them keeps me going. I also enjoy traveling.

What is your wish for Arizona’s children?
My wish for Arizona’s children is to find joy & fulfillment in learning that develops curiosity and the confidence to explore new ideas. I want them to gain the skills to think critically and become successful in their future endeavors.

What does being selected as a Million Dollar Teacher Project Black History Month spotlight teacher mean to you?
Being selected as a Million Dollar Teacher Project Black History Month spotlight teacher is an incredible honor. This is an affirmation of my commitment to working with students to help them reach their full potential. I am grateful.

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Growing the Tree

Million Dollar Teacher Tree was first developed in a classroom by students in a program called, Next Generation Service Corps at Arizona State University in December of 2017. These students were tasked by Lloyd Hopkins, founder of Million Dollar Teacher project with developing a project that can potentially become an integral part in helping MDTP achieve its mission. The group eventually developed the original prototype for Million Dollar Teacher Tree—a cutout dollar sign that would be placed in surrounding businesses near the partner school. The idea was pitched to staff members of MDTP during the last of their class, and the project was picked up by MDTP as a new pilot program for the organization. After many months of planning, the prototype was eventually revamped into what it is today, Million Dollar Teacher Tree.

Golden Apple

These apples are intended to provide any sort of Professional Development which, in turn, gifts them with key knowledge to add to their personal skill-set to better work with their students.

As educators, teachers are constantly looking to continually grow in their profession to not only learn how to better connect with their students, but to also make the learning experience much more exciting.

Suggested donation amount range: $10 – $100

Red Apple

These apples are designed to provide the typical day-to-day items in the classroom. Teachers spend can spend upwards of $1,000 out of pocket to have enough supplies yearlong for their students– to alleviate this, the Red Apples were created.

Everyday school supplies include; pencils, notebooks, crayons, hand sanitizer, etc.

Green Apple

These apples are intended to provide a big-ticket item for the teachers. These supplies are typically something that the teachers can use for more than one school year.

Examples include; a class-set of computers or new furniture for the classroom.

Suggested donation amount: $500+