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SC Whitmore School Names Robin Carter 2022 Teacher of the Year

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Columbia, SC – SC Whitmore School (SCWS), a statewide online public high school, has named Science Department Chair and Science Teacher, Robin Carter as its 2022 Teacher of the Year. 

Carter has always had a passion for learning, and began teaching in 2001 after she witnessed the influence of her mothers teaching career. “I sort of accidentally became a teacher,” said Carter. “My mother was a public high school teacher for my entire childhood and I saw how hard she worked and how much time she put into it on nights and weekends, so I had no plans to become a teacher. But I landed a Graduate Teaching Assistant position in graduate school and fell in love with the idea that I never had to leave the classroom. Working with teenagers keeps me young!” 

After graduating from Troy University with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science, Carter earned her master’s degree in Biology with a focus in Biochemistry from University of Alabama in Huntsville. Carter has taught an array of science courses from Genetics to Chemistry in a variety of settings including colleges, alternative schools, and now virtual school. Currently, Carter lives in Spartanburg, South Carolina with her husband where they are both active members of their community and serve in various leadership roles at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Spartanburg.

Carter began teaching at SC Whitmore School in 2016. She loves helping students reach their goals by using consistency through her teaching. 

“When students know what to expect, they excel,” said Carter. “No one can be successful when there’s a constantly moving target, so my role is to help students keep their focus on an achievable goal by helping them see the clear and consistent pathway to it.”

Carter’s influence does not go unnoticed by her colleagues. “I’ve had the pleasure of working with Robin Carter for many years,” said Kim Dunbar, the executive director at SCWS. “She is always student focused and works diligently to ensure we are supporting the whole student. She has also proven to hold leadership skills in her role as department chair. Her colleagues look to her for guidance and to ask the difficult questions to ensure consistent improvement. She has been an educator for over 20 years. A few comments from her colleagues are, “Robin is constantly working to reach, teach, and support our students to make them feel valued, to help them succeed, and for the improvement of our school. She is unafraid and often asks the best questions to get everyone on the same page, for clarification and to make all feel welcomed and a part of the team” and “Robin Carter makes sure her students feel supported in and out of the classroom.” These comments detail the incredible talents she has not only as a teacher but as a team member. We are grateful for her dedication and impact at SCWS.”

As the world continues to navigate education during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Carter shares advice for all educators teaching virtually and in-person.

“Speak up,” said Carter. “Advocate for yourself, for other professionals and for your students. There is no shame in identifying a need and asking for support in seeking a solution.”

“Robin is a dynamic educator, said Ebone’ Adams, the Principal at SCWS. “She is full of energy and great ideas. Every aspect of her teaching is innovative and she helps her students reach their maximum potential.”

Building positive relationships with students is essential to a student’s success throughout their education. Carter makes a special effort to connect with students on the platforms that work best for their lifestyle.

“I reach students where they are – which for this generation – is on their phones,” said Carter. “I am a huge fan of Google Voice because I can text students and usually get an immediate response.  One additional thing I’ve started doing this year is to host a “welcome to my class” live session on a twice monthly basis so that I can “catch” any student newly enrolled in my classes after they’ve had a chance to get started and gain some exposure to the course. In those sessions, I check in with each of my students, get to know them a bit better, answer “low stakes” questions and they begin to see that meeting with me can actually be fun!  Once they get a feel for who I am as a person and I get a chance to see their personalities, it makes moving forward together to work in content heavy sessions much more productive.”

The SC Whitmore School Teacher of the Year Award has brought Carter joy. “I’m very honored to represent SC Whitmore School again this year,” said Carter. “I won this award back in 2018, so to be selected again by my peers is a tremendous feeling. I work with an amazing staff and colleagues who truly seek to create a high quality online learning experience for every single student – regardless of their zipcode.  I’m thankful to be a part of this school.” said Carter.

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