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Nancy Carter awarded

Reinhardt Assistant Professor of Education Nancy Carter of Roswell, Ga., (second from left) recently received the Teaching Excellence Award sponsored by Vulcan Materials Company through the Georgia Foundation for Independent Colleges, GFIC. On hand for the award presentation were Reinhardt President Dr. J. Thomas Isherwood (left to right), Carter, Vulcan Materials Senior Market Analyst Ryan Morris and Reinhardt Dean of the Price School of Education Dr. Robert L. Driscoll.

Nancy Carter Receives Teaching Excellence Award From Vulcan Materials Company

08/22/03 - Reinhardt Assistant Professor Nancy Carter Receives Teaching Excellence Award From Vulcan Materials Company

Reinhardt Assistant Professor of Education Nancy Carter of Roswell, Ga., recently received the Teaching Excellence Award sponsored by Vulcan Materials Company through the Georgia Foundation for Independent Colleges, GFIC.

Carter said receiving the prestigious award validated her work. "I knew how happy I was to be here and how often I would find myself going above and beyond just because I wanted to -- of trying to make this education program the best it can be.  This award is a validation of all that.  'Yes, you are in the right place.  Yes, you are making a difference.  Yes, you were called here.  Yes, this is where you need to be.'"

Carter, who admitted being "speechless" for the first time ever, when she was presented with the award, said "some kind of divine intervention must have been involved" in her arrival at the College in 2000. She came to Reinhardt through a partner exchange agreement with the Fulton County School System.  After teaching upper level education method courses for two years, she retired from Fulton County and accepted a full-time position in the College's Price School of Education.

"My decision was based on a strong belief in the mission of the school, my calling to teach coupled with a deep affection for our education students, and a desire to see Reinhardt become an accredited institution for all the teacher preparation programs," she said. "When I found out that Dr. Bob Driscoll had been hired as the new [education] dean [in 2002], I knew Reinhardt was where I wanted and needed to be.  I took a leap of faith, retired from Fulton County and have never looked back."

Carter is passionate about Reinhardt's positive atmosphere. "Students are special and credible, and the bonds that you create here will last quite some time.  This is a special place.  Sometimes we don't realize just how special this place is.  We think this is the way it is done, and it truly is not like this everywhere."

Carter was also drawn by the program's emphasis on educating teachers to modify their teaching methods and timelines to respond to differing student needs. "I wanted to be in on the ground floor of creating a whole new program, one that's really focusing on accommodating students who are academically diverse."

The old model for teaching was 'one size fits all. I taught it to you.  I don't know why you didn't learn it,'" she said. "If my students have difficulty, I feel it is my responsibility.  The buck stops here. I try to model for my students the way that I want them to be. They are all come in with baggage. Many of them are used to being passive, not used to being actively involved. In responsive teaching, you're saying, 'Whatever needs are in this classroom, it's my responsibility to meet those needs.'"

Carter stresses the value of nurturing classrooms, where students are cared for and challenged, where they feel comfortable enough to admit when they need help. "I see too many who are afraid, who don't want to say anything, and that's a shame," she said. "I want our students to go out and create classrooms where children come in and find joy, community and connectedness."

Reinhardt President Dr. J. Thomas Isherwood said Carter was "most deserving of this recognition. Nancy's selection speaks to what we value in our teachers. She is so enthusiastic and so energetic, and those traits are particularly honored and rewarded at Reinhardt. Nancy has truly made a positive contribution both in the classroom and in the campus community."

She was selected for this honor by a faculty committee.Carter is also the early childhood coordinator and serves on numerous college committees.

Vulcan Materials Company has sponsored the Teaching Excellence Award through the GFIC for the past 11 years. The award honors a faculty member who has made a distinctive difference both in the classroom and in the campus community. These awards are presented annually to selected faculty from the 28 GFIC member institutions.

Isherwood said he was very thankful to Vulcan Materials and GFIC for "supplying us with the ability to recognize superior professors. We very much appreciate that a business like Vulcan Materials chooses to reward Nancy for her insightful contributions to teacher education. Also we are grateful for the role that GFIC plays in encouraging recognition opportunities like this one for businesses and private colleges and universities in Georgia."

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