For years I’ve known my friend, Carrie. We were part of a staff that opened our school ten years ago. She was the first person, besides our boss, that I met, and I greatly admire her. She is our elementary school music teacher. She offers an Honor Choir for our fourth and fifth graders, and she puts on multiple grade level performances throughout the year. She is a teacher of high standards, as her Honor Choir receives highest ranks every spring, and even when she is tired, she never stops giving her best to our school community. To say I admire her is an understatement. I think she is an amazing teacher, colleague, friend, and person!
Carrie always has a laugh and smile. She smiles even when life is painful. And that smile isn’t phony. She knows pain, and as a breast cancer survivor, she knows perseverance and grit. As a wife and mother herself, she knows what is truly important in life. She knows how to find the joy, even when it’s hiding in a corner. She counts the good even when life throws her curves anyone would rather take a pass on….
Carrie is super creative. I’ve watched her hang decorations by herself from a tall ladder to the top of our stage. She uses her minutes wisely and gets things done. When we attend our children or student performances, we might not realize there was a lone teacher doing work behind the scenes to make it perfect. I don’t know if I could do all of that multiple times a year! She really amazes me!
Carrie is a supportive teammate. She pulls her weight, more than her fair share, and she will help you carry yours if you need a hand. She’s not afraid to get her hands dirty, and her actions follow her convictions. She believes in loving her neighbor, caring for others, and lifting up the downtrodden. Every year around Thanksgiving, her Honor Choir has a service learning project of gathering canned food items to help a local pantry! This has become an annual tradition and helps all of us in our school community to give back. The Honor Choir also puts on a holiday show for the elderly in nursing homes every winter. What a legacy she is creating!
Carrie uses music as a way to help our students become advocates. One incredible way she does this is by honoring our Veterans every November. Every year, she turns one of our walls into a Hall of Fame for the Veterans in our lives. She carefully posts the pictures given to her and makes sure the ranks and duties are listed. She invites Vets to come and be honored in the evening performance, and this is a real way she is teaching our students to value those who have sacrificed their lives for ours. There are always tears of gratitude flowing during her Veterans Day program.
Carrie is a phenomenal music teacher. She has given our students opportunities they might not otherwise have, like visiting nursing homes and giving our elderly a reason to smile and remember that people in their community still care for them. She brings joy to our campus with the annual talent show. She teaches students to take pride in their performances as they compete every year against other schools. She has set standards that must be met to participate in Honor Choir, like having good citizenship and making sure to come to every practice. She does all this while juggling life as a wife and mom who also dedicates her life to serving her family. She is an important piece of our school community, and she is so truly serving a purpose in our students’ lives. She lifts up our school in the way she cares for her students and peers.
Carrie, thank you for all you do! You make our school a better place for students, and if you have ever felt unnoticed, I hope you will remember that we see all the love and dedication you pour into everyone around you.