Carter selected as recipient of Troy’s Outstanding Future Educator Award

Published 11:00 am Saturday, April 27, 2024

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A Straughn High School graduate was recognized for outstanding achievements in academics, leadership, and service during Troy University’s annual Honors Convocation on Monday, April 15.

Callie Carter, a 2022 graduate of SHS and a junior at Troy, was named as the award recipient for this year’s Susan Gibson Vance Outstanding Future Educator.

Carter credits much of her academic success to the education and support she received growing up in the Straughn community.

“Those who are from Straughn know that it is an amazing community full of inspiring teachers, supportive administration, and loyal fans. It is the place that makes me feel most at home and has an environment that is full of love and spirit. Straughn prepared me for college by teaching me how to be a good student, working hard in my classes, being involved with my extracurricular activities, and creating good study habits,” Carter said.

For Carter, the important aspect of growing up at Straughn was becoming a great friend and person.

“The school taught me how to be compassionate, show up for others, and always be ready to listen first. I believe that the best way to teach students is to be an example and model the qualities that you want them to have, and the faculty and staff at Straughn schools are amazing role models. These qualities prepared me for college more than any books or tests could have. I know that I will always carry these lessons with me throughout my college years and my years as an educator,” she said.

Her passion for education and teaching started when she was young. As she went through school, that early realization became more evident and allowed her to reach this point of her life.

“I was the little girl who played ‘teacher’ after school with all of my stuffed animals. I do not really remember the time when I was like, ‘Yeah, that’s what I want to do for the rest of my life.’ I believe it was just a calling laid on my heart, and the amazing teachers I’ve had through the years continued to keep that dream alive. I just want to make a difference in others’ lives by being a positive light, and I believe I can do that through teaching,” Carter said.

Upon receiving news she was selected for the award at Troy, Carter said she was shocked at first and that receiving this award means the world to her.

“I am just beginning my education classes. After the initial shock, I felt honored to have been chosen out of the many amazing future educators at Troy University. Sometimes, the world can paint a negative light on the teaching possession. This award has given me so much confidence I can shed some positive light as a teacher. I am truly honored by the faculty and staff of Troy’s College of Education, especially Dr. Joe Johnson and Mrs. Catherine Lott Keck, who saw that light as well.”

She is currently finishing up her second year at Troy and plans to graduate in the fall of 2025. Carter is active in many student organizations on campus and serves as the assistant director of recruitment for her sorority Alpha Gamma Delta. She is also a Trojan Ambassador and was on the student panel for the State of Alabama’s accreditation for the Troy College of Education. Recently, she was inducted into the Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society, the only one for education majors at Troy.

“Our sorority held the highest GPA overall for all sororities at Troy and won the Dean’s Cup for the seventh time in a row. As an ambassador, I give tours of our beautiful campus, help at events like graduation, and many more activities on campus,” Carter said.

Carter has not decided where she would like to complete her internship, which is a year away.

“I know the time will go by fast. There are many amazing schools in Troy as well as Covington County, but wherever I end up will be great,” she said.

Following her high school graduation from Straughn, she elected to attend Troy since it felt like home to her.

“When I went on my tour, I just knew it would be the place I would call home the next few years. It has been that and more. Many people ask why you choose the school you attend, but I like to say why I continue to stay. Troy is the kind of place where you find out who you want to be. It is the place where you give a stranger a smile and they smile back, too. Troy is a community, not just a school, very much like Straughn. I have found my best friends at a place where I continue to strive to be the best version of myself,” Carter said.

Carter credits her family and friends as the biggest supporters and blessings of her life.

“Their support has never failed to amaze me, and I could never repay them for all they have done and continue to do. From dance recitals, softball games, cheer camps, and awards ceremonies to sorority bid day, college birthdays away from home, and everything in between, my family always shows up. I also have the most amazing grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins who always cheer me on. My family gives constant encouragement and supports my dreams, and for that, they are everything to me.

“I have also had great friends who supported me from my hometown friends to college friends who became like family. They have been there for everything and continue to be the best friends I could ask for. I truly am forever grateful for my support system,” she said.

Carter is the daughter of Clay and Christy Carter with an older brother, Cale, and sister-in-law, Anna.