Meridianville Middle School

Leadership and Integrity - Everybody Everyday
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8th Grade Journalism Classroom

Welcome to Mr. Gilstrap’s journalism classroom!


My name is Raymond Gilstrap, and I am the journalism teacher at Meridianville Middle School. This is my first full year of teaching after joining the staff last January to teach English. I graduated from UAH in 2009 with a BA in English. I spent several years pursuing a writing and publishing career before returning to UAH in 2013 to complete my Master’s degree in English and certification in secondary education.


I enjoy teaching journalism because I get the opportunity to help students develop and sharpen their writing skills. One of my focuses this year involves demonstrating the importance of writing and making it relevant to the lives of the students. Anyone can become a good writer by acknowledging that writing is tough and that it requires total commitment and focus. This statement has served as our class motto.


In addition to my teaching post, I am also the head track coach and one of the assistant football coaches. I come from a family of teachers as my wife teaches English at Decatur High School, my sister teaches math in Chicago, and my mother-in-law is a retired teacher. I enjoy discussing teaching ideas with all of them. In my spare time, I enjoy writing, going to the movies, and watching Auburn football. WAR EAGLE!