Meet HighScope Hero
Meet HighScope Hero
TIFFANY WRIGHT OFEIMU
“I Love What I Do!”
The power and impact of HighScope principles not only benefit children in the classroom but shape the lives of future teachers, thanks to dedicated educators like HighScope trainer Tiffany Wright Ofeimu. As a professor and early childhood education (ECE) coordinator at Oakland Community College (OCC) in Michigan since 2011, Tiffany has helped the college re-imagine and redesign its ECE associate’s degree program into what it is today, electing to make the HighScope Curriculum the foundation for her program.
The reason Tiffany chose HighScope? With a commitment to the idea that preparing teachers for the classroom is essential to creating early childhood environments where children can thrive, she knew that an understanding of the HighScope Curriculum would provide a solid framework for her ECE students. “HighScope is at the core of what we teach,” says Tiffany, “because I knew that if students learned the HighScope philosophy and its recommended best practices, they would be able to apply them in any early childhood setting,” she says.
Some 20 years ago, Tiffany was working as a director for a child care center that adopted the HighScope Curriculum. At the time, Tiffany did not consider ECE as her lifelong career objective. “Originally, I didn’t plan to stay in early childhood education,” says Tiffany. “My goal was to go to law school.”
However, after completing the HighScope teacher training certification, her life and career goals changed forever. Tiffany became immersed in and passionate about the early childhood field. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Rochester University and a master’s degree from Oakland University, both located in Rochester Hills, Michigan.
Today, Tiffany serves as a HighScope Trainer of Trainers, a HighScope consultant, and part-time Early Childhood Specialist supporting the State of Michigan-funded Great Start Readiness Program (GRSP). She also teaches part time at her alma mater, Oakland University.
Crystal Sanford-Brown, a seasoned early childhood advocate and the first African American President of the Michigan Association for the Education of Young Children (MIAEYC), nominated Tiffany as a HighScope Hero. Crystal sees Tiffany as a trailblazer in the field who elevated the OCC program to a higher level: “Now, she says, “the OCC associate’s degree program is much stronger, offering prospective teachers a researched and intentional approach to learning. Students are graduating prepared to meet the individual educational needs of all children.”
Tiffany finds her work exciting and continues to see the fruits of her labor in the achievements of many of the graduates who go on to become teachers and implement the HighScope Curriculum in preschool programs throughout the community. Charting a bright path for her ECC students, Tiffany emphasizes that HighScope remains at the core of OCC’s program, helping to strengthen the reputation of its ECE curriculum and producing well-prepared early education graduates.
One of those graduates was Tiffany’s son, Jordan, who successfully completed the OCC program and went on to follow in his mother’s footsteps by earning a bachelor’s degree in ECE at Rochester University. The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree. Jordan is now a teacher at the Bussey Center for Early Childhood Education, in Southfield, Michigan, where he uses the HighScope approach and curriculum.
Tiffany continues to lead and inspire as a shining example of what it means to be a HighScope Hero. “My goal was to demonstrate how to step into the classroom and teach the HighScope approach in an active way,” says Tiffany. “I am thankful for HighScope. It has not only influenced me as a teacher, but as a person. It has brought me so much happiness. I love what I do. I love my job, and very few people can say that.”