New special education teacher doubles as AAU/Mo. baptist coach

William Edwards, Staff Reporter

Diversity and variety has always been a staple for teachers and students at Parkway Central. Students and staff come from all walks of life. 

There are teachers who competed in collegiate football as well as teachers who served in the military. We also have students who come from broken families to students who are from the fifth generation of family wealth. 

Giving back to the community and those who need a little extra help is a past time at Parkway Central.

Dominique Stringer is a new special education teacher known around the building for bringing smiles to kids faces and giving back to the community. 

“I chose to be a special education teacher because I wanted to bring awareness. I also wanted to break the stereotype that students with learning disabilities are unequal and different. It’s always been a passion of mine to help those who are treated like the underdogs,” Stringer said.

Stringer is a basketball fanatic and started her own basketball career at Campbell High outside of Atlanta, Georgia. 

Not only is she a coach, but she also has a deeper understanding of the game from her personal experiences in organized sports. 

“I’ve played basketball since the 6th grade. I ran track and did field events such as long jump, high jump, shot put, and discus all four years of high school, and I played softball for three years in high school,” Stringer said. 

Stringer played sports all throughout her high school career. She was a star athlete all across the board, but found a deeper love for the game of basketball as she got into her later high school years.  

“I played my whole college career and received my first D2 offer my junior year of college. I also played professionally for two years after graduating,” Stringer said.  

Stringer broke records and set the bar high for what was to come in the years ahead of her.  

She also attended Hiwassee College in Madisonville, Tennessee, where she stood out as both an athlete and a student.

“I led my team in assists and steals in my time at Hiwassee College,”Stringer said.

She later played Semi-Pro for the Flyers in Auburn, Alabama. 

Stringer now is the assistant women’s basketball coach at Missouri Baptist University and coaches the STL Cobras ANM Elite 17U girls and boys travel team. 

Coaching kids no matter what level you are on shows both a drive for the game and a love for the game that is unmatched. 

Being a retired professional, not only does she understand the recruiting process and getting to play at a higher level, she understands what is needed to be done to get her athletes and students to that level. 

Stringers time playing professionally and in college is what separates her from many other coaches. 

Playing professionally in any sport is a great accomplishment. Stringer played division 2 basketball and got her college experience paid for in full. A full ride is something all athletes in all levels of the game admire and wish for and she is skilled and blessed to have gotten that. 

“Sports taught me to always have a back up plan,” Stringer said. Sports also taught me to not settle for just being athletic. It has taught me to be a leader, to be humble, and to always give everything my all.” 

Sports taught her more than anything in life and she was able to push that onto her students and athletes both on the court and in the classroom. 

“My favorite part is being able to relate sports to my teaching,” Stringer said. “Student athlete means everything to me. You can’t be successful on the court if you can’t succeed in the classroom. My students and players have the same philosophy: you are a student of the game on and off the court but in the classroom first.”  

Making the transfer from being coached to doing the coaching is difficult for many people, but not for Stringer. 

Along with coaching three basketball teams and dozens of players, Stringer has started a non profit organization designed to help kids get college scholarships and further their education and athletic career. 

“My nonprofit organization, Action No Mercy, has now sent 42 kids on athletic and educational scholarships,” Stringer said. 

Along with sending dozens of  kids on scholarships, Stringer also got the chance to work with Division 1 athlete Tre Bell. Bell was a three sport athlete in football, basketball and track at Parkway West. Bell averaged 23 points per game during his summer league with multiple games over 40 points. Bell excelled in all three sports but went on to play Division I basketball at Lindenwood University. 

Stringer told West Magazine, “In his two years with me, he’s grown tremendously, not just in skill but in a hunger for the game. He’s so dedicated and he’s overall very mature for a person of his age.”. 

Coaching has changed the lives of many kids who have come into Stringer’s path, but coaching wasn’t enough for her

Her job did not feel complete. 

“I chose to be a special education teacher because I wanted to bring awareness,” Stringer said. “I also wanted to break the stereotype that students with learning disabilities are unequal and different. It’s always been a passion of mine to help those who are treated like the underdogs.”. 

The skills and experiences that Stringer brings to Parkway Central is everything that we as students and staff want for our school and community. Not only does she have a deep rooted passion for sports and education, but she also has a love for students and showing them the way to a happy, successful life.