TOTY Spotlight: Carrie Waters

Throughout the month of October, we will be introducing you to the 2023-2024 Glynn County Teachers of the Year.

Carrie Waters was named Teacher of the Year at Sterling Elementary School. Aside from teaching three-year-old children at Sunday school and teaching for the Kids in College program in North Carolina, she has taught second grade for 14 years. She has also taught several different groups of third-grade students during summer school; small groups of students in grades kindergarten, 2 and 3; after-school tutoring for students of all elementary-grade levels; and the SMART Program at Sterling Elementary. Here are some awesome things you should know.


Family: My immediate family consists of my husband of 34 years and three beautiful children. My oldest son Nick is 29, my other son Adam is 22, and I have a daughter named Abby, who spent much of my teaching career by my side, and will soon be 19. I also have a large extended family, spread between Florida and Pennsylvania and out to Texas.

Who is your role model? My role model would have to be my favorite high school math teacher, Mrs. Kathleen Strycula. Mrs. Strycula created and organized a Refunding Club, and a group of students and myself spent many hours together transporting, gathering, collecting, sorting, organizing, filling out and mailing refund forms, with hopes to give back to the churches and those in need in our community.

What book has most influenced you? During college, our cohort was tasked with reading a large number of children’s books, writing a summary of each, and creating an activity that would be engaging to our future students. While I was working on this project, I came across several stories that I liked, but one stood out, in particular, and was one of my personal
favorites. It was called "Time of Wonder" and was written by Robert McCloskey. This particular book resonated with me, because as a child my father took us on a vacation to Camden, Maine, where the setting of this story took place. This story and the personal connection it made to our experiences and challenges, during our vacation, made this book especially memorable. Since I teach second grade, I have found a love in finding and sharing children’s stories that relate to my own personal life’s experiences and those of my students.

What is your greatest teaching memory? My greatest teaching memory would be when I had my students write to Mayor Bryan Thompson. With a quick response, in return, and an invitation to follow, Mayor Thompson shared his thoughts of always wanting a jetpack, which assisted me in transforming my writing instruction into a world of motivation and engagement for my students. My students not only measured out and created their own personal stamps, but many continued to write letters on their own. One student, that I remember the most, actually wrote a letter to the Pokemon Company to share a new toy design and received a reply.

What is your favorite quote or personal motto? My current favorite quote would be “Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them become what they are capable of being.” - Goethe
What is a fact about you that most people don't know? I love to run barefoot! I lettered in track and volleyball my ninth-grade year. I was the only girl discus thrower for my high school, while also running track and field events. That same year, I qualified for district competition.

Any hidden talents or hobbies? Whenever I have the time, I really enjoy immersing myself in lengthy meal preparations. Some of my favorite dishes include lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs, and making homemade sushi. Also, I’m not sure if this qualifies as a hidden talent, but with my love of cooking, I have been known to walk into the kitchen, with no obvious ingredients catering to the making of a meal, and pulling off a culinary coup de tat.