Congrats to Carrie White, SCSD Teacher of the Year
Posted on 12/13/2021
Congrats to Carrie White, SCSD Teacher of the Year

Carrie White is named
Schenectady Teacher of the Year


Carrie White, a second-grade teacher at Yates Elementary School, was named the Schenectady City School District 2022 Teacher of the Year.  Superintendent Anibal Soler, Jr. surprised White and her students with a visit and the announcement Monday morning.

Carrie White is named Teacher of the Year

“I am pleased and honored to announce today that Carrie White has been selected as the Schenectady City School District Teacher of the Year,” said Soler.  “Carrie is an exceptional educator who is admired and respected by all in the school community.  She is a leader in her school, has the ability to ignite and inspire, and always puts the needs of her students first.  Carrie exemplifies the qualities, characteristics, and traits that we seek in educational role-models.  I stand with many others when I say, she is extremely deserving of this honor.”

White, who has been a teacher at Yates for the last 14 years, received support, accolades and gratitude from parents, students, and colleagues.  Nineteen letters were provided in support of White’s nomination for ‘teacher of the year’ honors, including letters from former students who are now attending college.

By all accounts, White is well-respected and known for her unwavering dedication, care, skill, and her ability to adapt to any situation and meet the needs of every student.   She is applauded for her inter-personal relationship skills and ability to connect with students and families.  She is a leader and mentor to her colleagues and always steps up to participate in activities and on committees.  According to those who know White, she has a lasting impact on her students.

Melissa Hanavan, parent of a first-year college student who had White for first grade, agrees as she recalls the impact that White had on her son in school and all these years later.   “Mrs. White was the best teacher he ever had,” said Hanavan.  “I genuinely believe that it was her kind and gentle way that helped Tyler form into the student he is today.  Her guidance continues to motivate him.”

White was nominated for the top teacher honors by Yates School Principal Robert Flanders.  “Carrie is an exceptionally skilled and dedicated teacher,” he said.  “She carefully crafts each lesson to meet the needs of each individual student and challenges them to excel in every aspect of their lives.” 

According to Flanders, White helps students set goals and develop the plan to meet those goals.  He noted that her work is not limited to the school day and that White also works with her students before and after school.  “Her students come first, and her time is structured around her students’ needs,” he added.

“Mrs. White is well-organized, and her classroom is the perfect place for learning and creating memories and relationships that will last a lifetime, said Trisha H. Stanton-Roth, special education teacher at Yates.  “Mrs. White is the most dedicated, giving, and talented teacher I have ever met.  She gives all in everything she does.”

“She is always willing to pitch in for the good of our students regardless of the mission,” said Melany Alvarado, parent liaison.  “She always demonstrates professionalism and dedication.  She knows how to motivate her students to strive for excellence.  She is a positive advocate and is very active in our school activities as well as our community.” 

Flanders said that White successfully led her students through the transition back to in-person learning this year by supporting mental health and academic needs and that “she is determined to foster resilience and excellence in all of her students.”

“It has been my absolute pleasure having Mrs. White as my son’s teacher two years in a row, said Trinidee Graham, parent.  “Although the pandemic made virtual learning so hard and complex especially at first, I could not have gotten through it without Mrs. White, and I am so grateful.  Thank you, Mrs. White, for being an amazing teacher.”

“Her commitment to her students’ social emotional growth was one of the many aspects that she shared with the whole community,” said Joyce Wu, former general education co-teacher.  “She is the full package, eager to grow and learn more and better ways of addressing students’ needs and keen to share and grow with her peers.” 

Juliana Mastan, a former first-grade student of White who is now a sophomore in college, said she still has so many fond memories of White’s class.  Mastan recalls being a victim of bullying as a child.  “Mrs. White’s classroom was someplace where I felt safe and supported,” she said.  She added that White continually checked in with her to see how she was doing.  “In 7th grade she emailed my English teacher to reach me,” said Mastan.  “.. wishing me luck on the state exams and letting me know she was thinking about me.” 

“Carrie is a tireless advocate for students,” said Amy Jensen, Yates School Psychologist.  “Carrie is a true leader who creates experience and opportunities to engage and inspire student learning.”  Jensen also noted that White “goes out of her way to make families feel welcome and comfortable in situations that can be intimidating and overwhelming, such as large group parent/teacher meetings.  “Carrie will seek out school and community resources to assist with the many different issues that arise in and out of the classroom for her students and families,” she said.

White often takes the lead and is always ready to step up to lead an initiative and her leadership extends beyond her classroom and students.  According to her principal, she serves as a mentor to other teachers regarding literacy instruction, classroom management and differentiated instruction.     She also serves as a grade level leader and is on many teams and committees including the school’s anti-racism leadership team and school safety committee.  She is a chairperson for the Positive Behavior Intervention Support (PBIS) committee as well as the participatory budgeting initiative.

“Carrie has exemplified leadership in many roles,” said Patricia Wood, reading teacher and 2020 Teacher of the Year.  “As a grade level leader, she facilitates groups of teachers in a way that pushes them to reflect and make decisions that will serve our students but that also encourages them. She is an expert on the curriculum and programs for multiple grade levels.”

Wood noted that when she first started teaching in the primary grades, White was a source of knowledge and support.  “She certainly leads by example, showing her colleagues that our students deserve engaging and rich experiences,” said Wood.

“She is an exceptional teacher who has proven her ability to support students of all competencies and backgrounds in-person and virtually,” said Michelle Tessier-Harris, a former student teacher who taught in White’s first-grade classroom.  “Carrie’s mentorship provided me with priceless instructional tools that have supported my past, current and future students on their educational paths.  Her impact has reached far greater classrooms than her own.” 

“Mrs. White continually goes above and beyond her title of “classroom teacher,” said Samantha Eichele, instruction supervisor at Yates.  “Her professionalism and interpersonal skills have led to strong relationships with students, parents, and staff.”

“Mrs. White has always been and will continue to be my favorite teacher,” said Mastan.  “Mrs. White goes above and beyond for her students.  Her passion for teaching shines through everything she does especially her dedication to the students of Schenectady.” 

Mastan added, “From a little girl sitting in the pink bean bag chair during carpet time to now (a sophomore in college), I can say with confidence there is no one more deserving of the honor of Schenectady Teacher of the year than Mrs. Carrie White.”

“There is always that one teacher during your child’s education journey that you will never forget,” wrote Gina and Jaelynn LaPlante, former student, and parent.  “Mrs. White is that teacher.  Any student that has been given the opportunity to be in Mrs. White’s class has been given the greatest opportunity.”

As Schenectady City School District Teacher of the Year, White is eligible to enter the New York State Teacher of the Year contest.

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