Nominated by fellow teacher, Nicholas Liebrecht:

Carol is the most diligent and passionate student herself, regularly (it seems like every month or every other month) attending painting workshops and seminars to improve herself artistically, which is very admirable. She donates her time and energy to do things like background/props for the drama department. Her students have done amazing work, like hallway murals and mosaics and design contests. She is also the #1 art teacher for getting her students work displayed in the halls of our school, to celebrate students hard work and to keep the visual arts relevant and in the 'public eye' of the school. She’s an amazing colleague! Carol recently had her art classes do amazing charcoal portraits of local Oregon City veterans, to be presented to the surviving veterans and their families, at our recent Veterans Day assembly. Simply amazing to integrate this project honoring soldiers into her already overcrowded and busy curriculum. Carol always does these types of super relevant, super awesome things in her art classes. Carol is a Veteran herself; she served her country and now she serves her students and community. She is an inspiration to work with.

Congratulations Carol, from all of us at K103!

What inspired you to become an educator?

I love to create and make art and I just feel strongly that engaging in creative activities is for everyone. I also know that although every human should feel most alive and excited when doing this, many are not comfortable in this art making. I think a good art teacher can be the bridge many people need to find their creative selves and find adventure in art making.

What do you like most about teaching?

What I love about being an art teacher is having students enter my class with the “I don’t know why I am here, I can’t even draw a stick figure” comment; and soon loving their art work that they created so much they are asking “when can I take it home?”

What has changed the most since you began your career in education?

Technology in the classroom has been the biggest change. Although technology has provided many tools for us, I really miss the classroom where cell phones were not a constant distraction for students. Social media has become such a demand on students time, and it is very difficult for them to resist checking the incoming text, tweet, or Instagram, and then of course the pressure and expectation to respond. Besides social media, there is also the temptation to play video games; I think it is hard for teachers to create lesson plans that can compete with the entertainment on cell phones.

What would you like parents to know about your job?

Teachers are working hard to help students succeed in the classroom and beyond. One the major problems that can lead to failure is absenteeism. Students miss important information and demonstrations when they are absent and it can be very difficult to catch up. Catching up outside of class time is much more difficult to do than getting the work done in class with the other students. Unless students are very ill, they need to be in school.

Share a favorite story about your years in education.

There have been so many stories shared with my coworkers during lunch; we frequently talk about a reality TV show that takes place in the classroom would have viewers amazed, laughing and sometimes crying. I frequently see students reaching out to help and make a difference in our school and community. There have been student-run fundraisers for families in our community struggling after major illness or accident as well as annual events to raise money for those in need. I love the feeling of hope and pride in our young people have when I see this.