Teacher Interview: Ms. Carter

Ms. Carter is our very loved theology teacher here at NDA. Over her twelve years here, she has taught Morality, Just Choices, Scriptures, and of course Women’s Spirituality. This year, she has taken on the role of IB Coordinator. While we all know Ms. Carter for her love for social issues, we also know her for her goofy personality: “I love to laugh, and I love bringing laughter into the classroom.” Let’s get to know her.

From a young age, Ms. Carter was always passionate about spirituality. It continues to be the center of her life, and it was something that connected her to other people and brought her to NDA. She is also very passionate about social justice and empowering women. Ms. Carter comes from a large family, being one of twelve children, so her family and friends are also a large part of her life.

Ms. Carter went to a Catholic, boarding high school. She said that she was a good student but admitted that she didn’t really know how to learn and had to do a lot of extra work. During this time, Ms. Carter played soccer and tennis and swam on a team. Aside from being an athlete, she also was involved with student government, served as a religious leader and proctor, and acted in the company of a few school plays. Ms. Carter emphasized how much she loved high school because of her wonderful group of friends and amazing teachers. Some of her sisters also went to school with her which made her experience even better. She attributes her love of teaching partly to her positive high school experience.

A graduate of Hamilton College, Ms. Carter received her bachelor’s degree in French Language of which she found her love for in 7th grade. One of her favorite memories from college is when she spent her junior year abroad in France. Her athleticism continued, and she swam in college as well. After graduating, Ms. Carter went on to volunteer as an elementary school teacher, but she realized she enjoyed working with older students more. She continued on to teach high school French. Afterwards, Ms. Carter worked with social issues such as disaster relief. Then, she proceeded to earn her master’s degree in Pastoral Ministry and become a chaplain at Fairfield University.

While she enjoyed working in campus ministry, Ms. Carter missed the creative aspect of teaching. With some guidance, Ms. Carter moved on to teach high school again here at NDA. Though prior to coming here, Ms. Carter hadn’t taught for a while, teaching was always a possibility for her. She loves to work with young people, and like all teachers, watch us grow and evolve: “I love being a part of something constructive. It’s very meaningful to me.” Particularly at NDA, Ms. Carter loves the interaction around the topic of spirituality, and she knew from the start that that is what she was going to teach. She noted how she loves seeing the connection between the girls and subject while also making it fun. “I’m a weird mix of taking things seriously and being light-hearted,” she said.

When Ms. Carter first came to NDA, Heritage Day made a positive first impression on her. She loves seeing the fun, playfulness, and creativity through the costumes and talent show. However, she noted how Heritage Day is really an “expression of what we’re about”. Ms. Carter tries to enjoy every day here which she said isn’t too difficult since she loves working with her

colleagues and the students. At one point, Ms. Carter considered getting a PhD in Theology, but her passion for teaching high school girls led her elsewhere.

A few years ago, Ms. Carter worked with Ms. Russell to have her Just Choices students study social dynamics by improv techniques. If Ms. Carter were to create a new class here, she would expand that lesson and have a life lesson improv class (with Ms. Russell’s help).

Ms. Carter’s crafty personality is not something that stays at school. When I asked her what she loves to do outside of school, she immediately showed me her coffee mug, decorated with a llama sticker and the phrase “llamaste”. Ms. Carter loves doing anything creative and crafty; one of her hobbies that she brought to NDA was art journaling. Traveling is also one of her favorite activities, and she said she has been to about 25 countries. She enjoys watching comedic television shows and reading books, but most of all, she loves spending time with her family. Ms. Carter often joins Ms. Mitchell and Ms. Callahan on walks around the area, but she wishes to be more outdoors-y.

Ms. Carter ended the interview with one quote she says very frequently: “Be kind to yourself. Loving ourselves helps us love each other.”

Thank you for loving your job, Ms. Carter!