Decatur Educator Named YLIA Facilitator

Joyner to serve as facilitator for Macon County’s Young Leaders In Action group

Decatur native and educator Temethia Joyner has joined Macon County’s Young Leaders in Action (YLIA) group as its program facilitator. A youth-led service and leadership initiative of more than 100 students from all 11 Macon County schools, YLIA is sponsored by The Community Foundation of Macon County. In April, the group was awarded the prestigious Governor’s Cup for its exemplary service and leadership to the area in rising to meet the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Temethia’s depth of experience in working with area youth, plus her skills and knowledge as an educator, will help advance the positive influence and creative vision of YLIA,” says Tony Holly, director of strategic grantmaking for The Community Foundation of Macon County.

This fall, Joyner begins her 17th year teaching for the Decatur School District. An ABAR-certified (anti-bias, anti-racist) educator, she currently teaches at Montessori Academy for Peace. She enjoys mentoring new teachers and other educators who are interested in incorporating social justice, peace education, restorative justice and/or antiracism within their classroom communities. She also works with high school students and young adults within the community, helping them find alternate routes to their goals when circumstances have created roadblocks.

“I look forward to creating diverse experiences, facilitating the power and gift of serving others as well as helping young leaders identify their strengths and harness their true potential,” Joyner says. “And I’m excited to be a part of The Community Foundation, an organization that has the passion for serving and giving, something that has been both instilled and modeled for me by my amazing parents, Vincent and Debra Barbee.”

A Millikin University graduate, Joyner holds a bachelor’s degree in education with an emphasis in sociology, and she earned her credential as a Montessori educator at both the lower and upper elementary levels from the Midwest Montessori Teacher Training Center. She also is completing a master’s degree in educational leadership Eastern Illinois University. Previously, Joyner spent a year as an instructional technology coach for the Professional Development Institute and through that experience learned that her passion remained with Macon County’s youth.

“I have found that, in my experience with youth, that having a strong consistent presence, providing mutual respect and getting out of the way while providing an unwavering safety net creates an environment in which young people can grow in ways they never imagined,” Joyner says.

Joyner and her husband, Emile, have three children.