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Extraordinary Educator: Carley Hand

Carley Hand, Montlieu Academy of Technology, awarded High Point Extraordinary Educator by the High Point School Schools Partnership at High Point Country Club, High Point, N.C., Friday, August 20, 2021. (Lynn Hey photo)

2021 Extraordinary Educators: Carley Hand

Great communities have great schools. High Point Schools Partnership creates impactful connections between our schools and the wider community to ensure students and their families are supported and can reach their full potential in High Point schools.

Part of High Point Schools Partnerships’ mission is to improve the image of our schools through storytelling. Who better to tell the stories of High Point’s schools than the people experiencing it first-hand? In this series of eight articles, we will highlight our 2021 High Point Extraordinary Educators as we dive deeper into what keeps them motivated in the face of constant challenges.

Carley Hand

Carley Hand has been an educator at Montlieu Academy of Technology for 6 years. “The strong relationships I have built with students, parents, co-workers, and administration” is the reason she has stayed at Montlieu. Montlieu has an “excellent team truly dedicated to the well-being of all students” and Hand is “honored to work with such passionate and knowledgeable educators and staff.”

Kimberly Scott, Montlieu Academy of Technology’s principal, says Ms. Hand “radiates positivity and consistently goes above and beyond to meet the needs of her scholars. Carley can frequently be found dressing up as a character in a story or even as a mad scientist to engage her scholars. She consistently motivates them to do their personal best no matter how challenging a task may be.”

Outside of the classroom, Carley is also a leader on the school’s “Sunshine Team,” which works “to bring joy to our staff on special days or during challenging times.”

Q: What inspired you to become an educator?

A: My fourth-grade teacher, Mrs. McKee, inspired me to become an educator by allowing me to help teach other students in my class. I realized during that time that I was not only good at teaching others, but really enjoying and found purpose in helping others learn and be successful.

Q: What’s your teaching/leadership style?

A: My teaching style is a little theatrical. I love to dress in silly costumes, speak in a variety of voices, play games, and transform what would normally be a mundane task into something kids enjoy and look forward to. It is a wonderful feeling with kids who are excited about their work and learning because you have made it fun.

Q: Do you have a classroom motto or philosophy you abide by? Why?

A: My classroom motto is “everyone is good at something, and no one is good at everything. Even if you may not understand something yet, or even if you have to work a little harder at something than someone else, you will get it.” I love this motto because it not only inspires students to try their best and not become frustrated when a task is difficult, it also creates empathy for those students who might have more trouble with a task or learning concept.

Q: What’s your favorite part about every day?

A: The best part about every day is pulling students in small groups. This allows me to spend more quality time with the kids, get to know their personalities, and see them make the most growth. 

Q: What’s your most memorable moment as an educator?

A: My most memorable moments as an educator are the times when previous students come back to visit me. When students care about you enough to stop by your room in the morning, on their way to the buses, etc., it means that you not only taught them what they needed to know, but they felt loved and cared for.

If Ms. Hand could tell her students anything, she “would like to tell them they can achieve anything they put their minds to. They are smart, valuable, kind, and important. I believe in them and know they are going to do great things.”

If she could tell students’ parents anything, she would say they are “doing a great job. They have wonderful children and I appreciate all of the effort they put into raising great kids even when life is hard.”

Thank you so much to Carley Hand for your dedication to High Point’s students. Congratulations on being selected as your school’s 2021 Extraordinary Educator!

To find out more about High Point Schools Partnership and our work, please visit our Facebook page and check out our page on Guilford Education Alliance’s website.

Article written by High Point Schools Partnership Staff