Nika Maples, a native Texan, never thought she would become a teacher. By her sophomore year in college everything changed …
In 1994, a lupus-induced stroke left Nika quadriplegic. She could not speak, swallow, or blink. In intensive care, she listened as physicians warned her family that she had as little as 48 hours to live. If she lived at all, they said, she could be expected to remain unresponsive. She had lost all functionality and had no hope of recovery, so doctors suggested an assisted living facility as the only option for Nika’s future. Against all odds, she walked back onto her college campus on her own two feet. The lessons she learned from quadriplegia will always be a part of her heart.
A stark reality became clearer to her by the day: Life is brief and brilliant. Whatever we choose to do with our handful of moments on earth, it is critical that we make those moments significant by serving others. She could think of no better way to serve than to educate and encourage young people.
After she had taught in a public...
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Nika had a great message! She was professional and cooperative in every way. Her humor was subtle, yet effective. She had teachers in the audience laughing..and later crying. She is just so passionate about her outlook on life and in educating students. She spoke from the heart and definitely connected with our staff. What a great individual and a great message. Thanks you Nika!
Steve Pelzer, Superintendent, CAM Community School District