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MEET LADY K

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MINISTER KRYSTLE C. SPELLER

B.A., M.Div., M.Ed.

Mother. Wife. Preacher. Educator. Nonprofit Executive. Choreographer.

 

Animated by the core beliefs that every child is precious, every child has the ability to learn, and every child has boundless potential and is a gift perfectly crafted by God to meet some need in the world, Minister Krystle Speller has spent her life investing in young people in the church, in schools, and throughout the community.

The daughter of Mrs. Sheila McCants-Higgins and Mr. Carl Higgins, she was raised in the loving home of her maternal grandparents, Deacon James C. McCants and Mrs. Lottie McCants in Orangeburg, SC. 

Lady K, as she is affectionately known, is a highly accomplished educator and nonprofit executive who has devoted her career to developing strong and successful students, staff, and school cultures within schools of all stripes. Raised in poverty in rural South Carolina, her own academic and social-emotional journey was guided heavily by educators who cared, and in turn, she has devoted her life to lifting young people from poverty and despair through education.

Lady K believes that engaged, highly qualified, and relatable teachers and school leaders can change the trajectory of any child’s life… just like they did hers. Throughout her career, she has demonstrated her commitment to creating social-emotionally healthy and academically excellent school cultures that value and serve all students well. In her education career, she has had the privilege of serving as an Elementary and Middle School teacher, a Dean of Curriculum and School Culture, a Numeracy Coach, and an MTSS Specialist/Assistant Principal. 

In addition to her work as a classroom teacher and as a building-level leader, Lady K has served on school-wide and district-wide curricular and HR-related committees, mentored fellow educators and students, as well as counseling and supporting students in community-based organizations where she has led in building programs and authentic connections with young people in some of the most economically challenged parts of Durham, NC, Houston, TX, Brooklyn, NY and Montgomery, AL.

One of Lady K’s deepest passions is strengthening Worship and Arts within churches. A trained dancer and choreographer, Lady K has led Dance and Mime ministries in churches across the country. She directed the Vessels of Praise dance ministry at the First Calvary Baptist Church of Durham, North Carolina and the Metanoia Movement, a dance and mime collective she established at the Community Congregational Church of Montgomery. Having studied dance extensively in undergrad and having studied Christian Education at Duke, she has a love for developing young people through arts and discipleship. Some of her most treasured experiences involved mentoring students at the C.A. Dillon Youth Development Center in Butner, North Carolina as a chaplain intern and helping to lead the Pleasant Hill Leadership Institute in Houston, Texas, developing young people as leaders in the Church and the community.

Lady K believes in educating and empowering young people to actualize their potential through rigorous, trauma-influenced, individualized and culturally relevant experiential education aimed at challenging every student to unearth their gifts and make real-world connections to the curriculum. Krystle’s passions for STEAM and fine arts education align with her desire to see minority students from difficult backgrounds achieve uncommon success, both academically and professionally, and in 2019 these passions drove her to found the “Greater in Me Movement” which seeks to obliterate the achievement and earning gaps by priming young minority girls in particular for access and success through STEAM enrichment, dance camps, mentorship, academic support, and much more.

Holding three degrees, including a Master of Education degree from Alabama State University and a Master of Divinity degree from Duke University, Krystle is currently completing the Principal’s Academy of Teacher’s College – Columbia University, preparing to fulfill her ultimate goal of developing excellent new schools throughout the South that remove barriers from young minority children flourishing and unearthing their God-given gifts.

Lady K’s deepest joy comes from being the mother of four amazing children and the wife and ministry partner of her seminary sweetheart, Pastor Raymonda R. Speller.

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