LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Carmen Smith

Position: Advanced Math Content Teacher Grades 3-5
School: Sugar Hill Elementary School
School District: Gwinnett County Public Schools
City, State: Sugar Hill, GA

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Carmen Smith was nominated by her friend and neighbor, Nikki Soroko.

Ms. Smith was born in Selma, AL. She had an appreciation for math at an early age. Her father served in the Air Force, and as a result, her family moved many times during her childhood. Their journey took them from Alabama, to California, South Dakota, New York, New Hampshire, Louisiana, Virginia, and finally, to Georgia, where they settled for her junior year of high school.

During her childhood, in the midst of so much transition, Ms. Smith learned valuable educational lessons from both of her parents. Her mother was adept at helping her with language arts, while her father was great at mathematics. He inspired her through hands-on application of math concepts as a way to solidify her understanding of the subject, keep things interesting and engaging, and provide a model for how math applies to everyday life.

For many students, math can be intimidating, particularly when it is taught in a way that does not allow students to fully understand concepts in real-world terms. When Ms. Smith was young, her father taught her many of these concepts by using visual and tactile methods (e.g., folding and cutting paper) to provide a holistic approach to the principles he taught her. This experience helped Ms. Smith develop a genuine love of the subject, which eventually led her to a career in math education.

Throughout her time as a teacher, she has embraced her father’s example and uses his methods in her classroom. She teaches math to students in a way that opens doors and instills confidence in them to not only grasp the material, but enjoy it and use it as a vehicle for their own successes. She currently works as the Advanced Math Content Teacher/Hybrid Teacher for grades 3-5. Ms. Smith has also served as a 2nd Grade Math Enrichment Teacher, 5th Grade Gifted Teacher, Math Coach; K-5 Math Specialist, EIP Math Teacher for grades 3-5, and Thinking Skills Specialist. She received her B.S.Ed from The University of Georgia and earned her Teacher Support Specialist and Gifted Education Certifications. 

Ms. Smith refers to herself as a “tool” when it comes to her relationship with her students and their progress. She takes no credit for their accomplishments. Instead, she helps students understand that they are the ones who are breaking through barriers and advancing in ways they never thought they could. She teaches them that it is okay to fail because failure is often a necessary step in their search for knowledge. Being a gifted teacher, Ms. Smith recognizes that many of her students struggle with not wanting to look bad in front of their peers. Through her hands-on approach with her students, she has taught them that fear of failure is their biggest obstacle to overcome. Many of her students have gone from not wanting to make mistakes in front of their classmates, to embracing those mistakes as opportunities for discovery. Because of that, new students who come into her classroom still holding onto their fear are greeted by confident classmates who put them at ease and show them, through enthusiastic example, that it is okay to not only take risks when it comes to their understanding of math concepts, but to not always get things right on the first attempt. 

In order to create such a relaxed classroom environment for her high-aptitude, high-achieving students, Ms. Smith makes a point of getting to know each of them on a personal level and showing genuine concern for them and their lives outside of the classroom. By personalizing her interaction, she is able to consistently build relationships of trust with her students that allow her to become an even more effective instrument for their growth as mathematicians and young adults. She invites her students to share their personal stories and experiences, which helps them relax and be themselves. Getting to know her students on a personal level allows her to intervene more effectively when they are struggling and give them specific encouragement, acceptance, and support when and how they need it most. 

One time, Ms. Smith developed a special connection with one of her students, a young girl who was one of three students from the same family to come through her classroom. This student happened to be the “middle child” in her family, just like Ms. Smith. Ms. Smith could see she wrestled with feelings of inadequacy, particularly as she sat in the shadow of her older sibling, for whom math came quite easy. Although this girl was one of the hardest-working students Ms. Smith had ever seen, she was struggling. Ms. Smith helped this young girl recognize her own abilities by consistently encouraging her and by nominating her for an opportunity to be part of a highly competitive national math project that would choose children from across the country to make video lessons to teach other students how to think about and understand middle school math concepts during the COVID-19 pandemic. . With Ms. Smith's support and guidance, this young girl gained the confidence to write an essay and make a video to submit to the competition, and she was selected as one of 10 children out of over 500 applicants from 45 states to participate in this program. The child thanked Ms. Smith repeatedly for nominating and believing in her. Ms. Smith's humble response was that she was simply the tool that allowed her to believe in herself, and that this accomplishment was all hers. The child’s mom later shared with Ms. Smith that it was in that moment that this child realized that she was not in competition with her older sister, and that she was paving her own way and accomplishing her own dreams. 

In another instance, Ms. Smith had a wonderful student in one of her third grade math classes who excelled at almost everything and was a pleasure to have in class.  As the year went on, Ms. Smith could see that this student was putting tremendous pressure on herself and would shut down if she could not grasp a concept immediately.  This made it difficult for Ms. Smith to help her let down her guard and have confidence, even in the face of difficulty.  When it came time for parent-teacher conferences, Ms. Smith met with this student's parents and invited her to join the conference, as well. She wanted her student to hear all of the wonderful things she had to share with her parents, but she also wanted to give her the opportunity to share her own feelings. Ms. Smith was determined to support this struggling student in any way she could.

At one point during this process, the child expressed the desire to be moved to a less challenging class, but her parents agreed with Ms. Smith that their child was extremely capable, and that she was already in the right class. They also expressed to her that she would have to be kinder to herself and allow herself adequate time to learn and make mistakes. When this student heard how much her teacher and parents believed in her, it gave her the courage to give the rest of the year a chance in the Advanced Content class.

After that meeting, Ms. Smith began to see a different side of this student. She saw a child who was willing to take risks and was okay if she didn’t grasp a concept on the first try.  The student ended the year with an A and continued in Ms. Smith's class for fourth and fifth grades. She became one of the strongest, most confident mathematicians Ms. Smith has ever taught, skipping years of math in middle school and entering High School as one of the top math students in her graduating class. This student wrote Ms. Smith a few years ago to thank her for believing in her, and to let her know that she plans to major in engineering when she goes to college. Ms. Smith recognizes through these experiences that helping students to believe in themselves and their own abilities is essential to their success in the classroom and in life. She continues to teach and mentor in a way that allows her students to gain that confidence and recognize their own strength and value.

Unfortunately, COVID-19 has created additional challenges and barriers to learning for students across the country. One of Ms. Smith's biggest struggles has been making and keeping those vital personal connections with her students and their parents. In order to overcome this obstacle, she has taken the extra step of writing personal notes and comments to the children to help boost their confidence with this new way of hybrid learning. Additionally, in her classroom, Ms. Smith has adopted an innovative, proactive approach to dealing with this challenge by ensuring that she is still able to talk to the kids and get a feel for how they are doing, despite having a mix of in-person and on-screen participation from her students. She uses breakout rooms on the computer, where students can interact with their friends and engage in a lot of hands-on collaboration. The students enjoy this because within the breakout rooms, they are able to talk to their classmates and be themselves for a little bit, even though many of them are participating at home from behind a screen. Ms. Smith has made sure everyone can see each other, regardless of whether they are at home or in the classroom. It's this kind of thoughtful, impactful innovation that her students and colleagues appreciate and wish to acknowledge with their thanks and their endorsements.  

Over her 25-year teaching career, Ms. Smith has been recognized through a substantial number of awards for which she was nominated by peers, students, parents, and members of the community. She won the 2020 GAGE Gifted Teacher of the Year Award, for which she was nominated by her school administrators for outstanding contributions to gifted students in her school and classroom, and for serving on the County's gifted Advisory Council that works toward advancements in gifted education. In 2018, she was a Georgia Finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching (PAEMST). She was nominated again for this award in 2020 by parents and colleagues for the high level of math instruction she provides to her students, and in recognition of her mastery of content and real-world teaching, In 2020, she was also a semi-finalist in the Teach On Project for Excellence in Education after being nominated by a parent. The year-long nomination process included essays, video-taped teaching sessions, interviews, and a culminating presentation. After being nominated by a colleague, Ms. Smith was a semi-finalist for the 2019-2020 American Families Award for Excellence in Education award, which was similar in structure to the Teach On Project in terms of nominee requirements.  

Additionally, she and her students competed in the 2019 Continental Math League competition and received recognition as the National 1st Place Winner in the Fourth Grade Division for 2019 and 2020. Her students compete each year that she teaches Advanced Content Math. The competition requires students from all over the U.S. to compete against one another to solve high-level rigorous problems. Her students place every year at national and regional levels, both as teams and as individuals. In 2010, Carmen was recognized as a Top 25 Finalist for the Gwinnett County Schools Teacher of the Year award. She was recognized as Sugar Hill Teacher of the Year for the 2009-2010 school year. In 2001, 2004, and 2007, she was nominated for the Disney All-American Teacher award by her administration for demonstrating exceptional teaching. In 2004, Ms. Smith won the Atlanta Braves/Bell South Excellence in Education Award after being nominated by several of her students, who wrote essays on how she demonstrated excellence in education. In 2001, and again in 2018, Ms. Smith was recognized by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as an AJC Honor Teacher Nominee. That same year, she was a Top 10 Finalist for Dekalb County Teacher of the Year, and the winner of Rowland Elementary's Teacher of the Year award. Though her list of accolades is extensive, her true satisfaction comes from seeing her students tackle their assignments with confidence and accomplish their goals inside and outside of her classroom. Her humility and dedication to her students, colleagues, and profession is what sets her apart as a teacher and as a person. 

Outside of the classroom, Ms. Smith has a long history of working diligently to provide additional resources for students and teachers by securing grant funding for robotics, teacher and student resource materials, training supplements, and literature for math specials and classroom teachers. These grants include the 2017 STEM and LEGO Robotics Grant and the 2009-2010, and 2015 Engineering, Technology, and Robotics Grant, which were used to purchase additional Lego Robotics sets to use in gifted and advanced content math classes. In 2014, she received the Number Talks Grant, which allowed for the purchase of three copies of Sherry Parrish's Number Talk books for each grade level at her school and helped fund staff development for its teachers. In 2010, she received the Math and Literature Grant, which facilitated the purchase of additional math literature for the school’s math specials and classroom teachers. Finally, in 2008, she received the Games in the Math Classroom Grant, through which she was able to purchase math instructional games for all grade levels. 

Ms. Smith continues to find ways to engage in professional development opportunities for herself, and as a mentor, coach, and instructor to her colleagues. One of her biggest contributions in her career has been her participation as the Department of Education Elementary Math Specialist for the state of Georgia. She has worked to integrate and train teachers, as well as develop content and the course curriculum for elementary math across the state.  Currently, she has continued at the county level, serving on the Gifted Leadership Advisory Council and the Assessment Team within one of the largest, most diverse Atlanta suburban counties in Georgia. 

Over the years, Ms. Smith has earned great respect from her co-workers and peers.

“Carmen is one of the hardest working teachers I know," said Michelle Lem, a fellow third grade teacher and colleague. "She sets high expectations for her and her students, and she knows exactly how to help her students reach and exceed their potential. Carmen cares about her students deeply and is always looking for new ways to challenge them. She is a true leader at our school. She is an expert in her field, and she loves sharing her knowledge with others!”

“Carmen is the most dedicated, passionate educator I have ever worked with in my 26 years of teaching," said Tiffany English, a colleague. "She loves her students fiercely. She expects much from them, and they love her fiercely back for it. Carmen has a way of teaching math that opens doors in children’s mathematics understanding. Children love her class, and many make the case [to] get the opportunity. Carmen still keeps in touch with many families from every year of her career. She cares about their progress and celebrates their accomplishments.”

“I have known Carmen since living in the same neighborhood for the last five years," said Soroko. "We were not so fortunate to have Carmen as our teacher, but she has always allowed me to share my concerns with her when my youngest son was struggling in math. We were new to Sugar Hill Elementary when we moved into the neighborhood, and our son struggled with the transition to the new school. Carmen welcomed our family and son with so much love and warmth and helped us with all the new adjustments being at a new school.  She would always give me great advice, not only from a parent’s perspective, but from a teacher's perspective. This was incredibly helpful when I needed to communicate with my son’s teachers. Carmen is the most generous, thoughtful, kind, and humble person I know. She is selfless in everything she does, always putting others and other’s needs first before her own. Even during this time of uncertainty with COVID-19, she has never given up or given less effort to anyone that has crossed her path. We have been truly blessed since having Carmen and her family in our lives. Everyone needs a 'Carmen Smith' on their team. She has been a wonderful neighbor and friend, and we all love her for who she is. Her heart is pure, her kindness is effortless, and her strength is fearless."



Comments (179)


Dr. Taffeta Connery Posted 1 months ago

Ms. Smith promotes a loving, nurturing, and empowering classroom learning environment that propels her students towards high achievement. Her students love to learn! When they enter her classroom, despite the vast diverse background knowledge they bring, by the end of the year they are scoring in the high proficient and distinguished ranges. The level of rigor is evident in the types of real-world tasks you provide students and their ability to articulate their learning is impressive. I highly recommend, Ms. Smith for this outstanding recognition because she models high engagement, high expectations, and a highly level of student accountability for all!

Lisa Lee Posted 1 months ago

Carmen is the epitome of lifechanger! She is a natural leader, nurturer, and lifechanger. She thrives on a challenge and develops the love for learning in her students. Not only does she work tirelessly for her students at the local school, but also for teachers at the district(Gwinnett County Public Schools) and state level as well!! It is my honor to vote for Carmen. She truly is amazing!

Molly Wood Posted 1 months ago

Mrs. Smith taught all three of my children. Going to Math was always the highlight of their day. Mrs. Smith saw the twins as individuals and recognized and encouraged their differences. Mrs. Smith supported us when we felt our son needed more help in reading and writing, even though she was the math teacher. She added her voice ours which allowed him to get the 504 plan he needed and gave us the confidence that we were not wrong in our assessment. He is now an avid reader. Deciding to move away from Sugar Hill was extremely difficult knowing we would lose access to Mrs. Smith as a teacher. But she is so much more than a teacher, she has stayed in contact with us this year, checked in on the kids, sent them a note wishing them well in the new school. It's this kind of dedication that makes her a life changer!

Andrew Im Posted 1 months ago

I am 7th grader now. I met her at 3rd grade. She changed my view in math. I thought math was boring. But, She changed my view on how much math is an exciting subject. She is always kind. I appreciate her.

Kyle Davis Posted 1 months ago

Carmen Smith is well deserving of this award. She really makes a difference in her students lives. As a teacher I have learned things from her to help with my own teaching. She is truly an honor to work with everyday!

William Im Posted 1 months ago

I love Mrs.Smith as my teacher she is always there when I have a question. She is very kindhearted and is the best AC math teacher I ever got SHE IS THE BEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jihye Lim Posted 1 months ago

Mrs.Smith is wonderful teacher!! We’re glad to having her at Sugar Hill ES.

KwonMin Lee Posted 1 months ago

Carmen Smith is a wonderful teacher. She is a so bright mentor, teacher, and supporter for all students. She is very helpful and very kind-hearted. My 2nd son has her now. He loves her. She always teach students with a positive attitude. So, I can say that SHE IS WONDERFUL.

Jennifer Childers Posted 1 months ago

Carmen is an exemplary educator. Her compassion and devotion to teaching is inspiring. She continually challenges students' critical thinking and fosters their love for learning. Carmen is respected and loved by her students as well as her colleagues. I have learned so much from Carmen throughout the years. She is truly amazing!

Jonathan Popple Posted 1 months ago

What more can be said about Mrs. Smith that has not already been said in these comments. She has an incredible knack for how she connects with her students. Challenges them to reach their potential. Truly cares for their successes and helps push them through their opportunities. Mrs. Smith has shown a true compassion for her students academically and personally. Mrs. Smith's joy for her classes is represented in the enthusiasm that the students bring home with them. My son has become a better student, leader, and citizen because of Mrs. Carmen Smith. Thank you!

Dede Cormier Posted 1 months ago

Carmen is an amazing teacher. She works diligently to make sure all of her students succeed. She finds engaging and fun activities for them to learn in a way that holds their attention and keeps them enthused about learning. She is always willing to share ideas, strategies, materials, and information with other teachers.

Anzlee Erickson Posted 1 months ago

Carmen is an amazing teacher! She greets her students at the door with a big smile for each segment of her day. She genuinely cares for her student's academic performance as well as their personal and social successes. She pushes her students to do their absolute best every day. By pushing her students and creating a welcoming, creative space, she truly builds a sense of community with her groups each year.

Petia Anaya Posted 1 months ago

Ms. Smith is one of the most amazing teachers I have ever met. She truly loves and cares about her students and takes the time to connect with them and their families. She creates lessons that don't just challenge students, but spark curiosity and love of learning. When my daughter joined Ms. Smith's class, she disliked math and thought she was not good at it, but with Ms. Smith's help, my daughter discovered a love for the subject and excitement that she did not have before. Ms. Smith also taught my son for three years, and until today some of his best memories from school come from being in Ms. Smith's class. I also had a wonderful opportunity to work with Ms. Smith as a colleague, and her creativity, positive attitude and professionalism are absolutely remarkable and inspiring.

Rosemarie Slodysko Posted 1 months ago

Carmen Smith is an inspirational teacher and mentor to all who have the privilege of working with her She is constantly challenging her students to exceed expectations in a variety of ways. She goes above and beyond to ensure that her students fully understand all the AKS. Both of my own children had the pleasure of being in Carmen Smith's class for AC Math. She was always patient and caring with them, and they truly loved being in her math class! Carmen Smith is that "One in a million" teacher that everyone will remember!

Beth Tomlinson Posted 1 months ago

Carmen is a phenomenal teacher who cares not only for her students’ academic success, but also for their personal well-being. She incorporates social/emotional learning and builds community within her math classroom. Each day I see students in the hallway excitedly heading to her room! Her passion for math and teaching is inspiring.

Jim Shropshire Posted 1 months ago

Carmen's commitment to the student community as a whole at Sugar Hill Elementary is clear to me because we serve together on the schoolwide Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports team. In the five years on the team together, I am regularly impressed with her insight's into what makes kids flourish in a school.

Teresa Barron Posted 1 months ago

Carmen Smith is a compassionate teacher. She cares for her students and challenges them with critical thinking problems to ensure that her students are independent problem solvers. This nomination is well deserved and wish her well with this process!

Dawn Hand Posted 1 months ago

Carmen Smith is simply fabulous! My son, Dylan, was fortunate enough to have Ms. Smith as a teacher and mentor, and I am blessed just to have her in my life. She cares as much about her students and their families as well as she does about her own family and friends. It shows in what people think and say about her. She is someone who everyone truly loves and respects! Thank you Carmen!

Laura Posted 1 months ago

Mrs. Smith - we count you as one of the many blessings we received at Sugar Hill Elementary! We are thankful for the creativity you use in classroom to solidify math skills and your encouraging attitude that instills a true love for learning in your students! Thank you for always going the extra mile for all your students!

Amanda Jones Posted 1 months ago

Mrs. Smith is a wonderful teacher who cares about her students immensely. She invests in them on a daily basis. She is passionate about what she teaches. Her knowledge is noted with how well students learn material and are prepared for the GA Milestone Assessment and district level assessments. The foundation and number sense my child has gained in her class will carry him throughout his education. Thank you Mrs. Smith!

Kristina Armstrong Posted 1 months ago

Mrs. Smith is an amazing teacher who goes above and beyond for her students. She was my son’s Advanced Math teacher at Sugar Hill for 3 years, and he is now a Sophomore in High School and excelling in Math. She created a lasting impression on my son and he has fond memories of being one of her students.

Michelle Lem Posted 1 months ago

Carmen is the first person I go to whenever I have a question about math! She is so knowledgeable and resourceful! I do not get work with her as often as I used to, but I sure miss working with her! She is one of the hardest working teacher I know, and truly cares about the students. My students love her!

Kacey Klein Posted 1 months ago

Carmen Smith is an educator who puts her entire heart and soul into her students and their learning. She will sacrifice to make sure that every child in her classes has every opportunity to thrive and be successful. Carmen makes me want to be the very best educator that I can be, and her kind heart certainly extends to her colleagues each and every day. She exemplifies the title of "Life Changer."

Tamaiko Chappell Posted 1 months ago

Carmen is so deserving of this honor! I'm not sure how much more amazing a person or educator could be!! She is kind to everyone, and I loved working with her on our vertical team for math. She goes above and beyond every single day!

Claudia Rietig Posted 1 months ago

Carmen is a dedicated and passionate teacher. She exemplifies what the teaching profession is about. She challenges children academically, while treating them with kindness and respect. She teaches them the LOVE of LEARNING! Students flourish in her class!

Tim Posted 2 months ago

Ms Smith always goes above and beyond in teaching math. My son really enjoys his math classes and the support from his teacher really shows.

Cathy M. Pendleton Posted 2 months ago

Carmen is truly deserving of this nomination! She cares about others and loves what she does. Carmen goes the extra step to help everyone excel, especially in her area of expertise. Carmen exemplifies my idea of an educator; willing to do what it takes to help a student to succeed. Carmen is always encouraging and pleasant to be around.

Teresa Saxon Posted 2 months ago

Carmen is an amazing person who was my son’s teacher when he was in elementary school. She always has a smile and a kind word for her students as well as her friends and family. The most dedicated educator I have ever known who has continued to be a friend and support system to all of her students through the years. My son is in college now, but knows if he ever needed any advice or guidance about anything, he could count on Carmen to help.

Toni F Posted 2 months ago

Mrs. Carmen Smith is a wonderful teacher who goes above and beyond to build creative opportunities for kids to engage with different math concepts. She helps kids see math beyond numbers and paper to real life uses outside the classroom and makes learning fun. In addition, Mrs. Smith teaches the whole student as she models empathy and compassion and fosters a class culture of valuing kindness. She is kind, professional and hard working. We are grateful for her positive influence on our children’s lives.

Stephen Pruitt Posted 2 months ago

Carmen is an incredible educator! I have known her for more than 10 years having met her as a math specialist at the Georgia Department of Education. She has a passion for ensuring her students are prepared for the future. An investment in her is an investment in the future.

Kori Smith Posted 2 months ago

I have had the pleasure of watching Mrs. Smith in her classroom. She has an amazing gift, weaving deep caring within a classroom composed of high expectations. Her commitment to her students is unwavering, as is her dedication to the profession. We are all better knowing that excellent educators, like Carmen Smith, are nurturing, supporting and developing the next generation.

Carmen Smith Posted 2 months ago

Carmen is an excellent teacher, friend, mom and wife. She loves her students and goes above and beyond to show that. She not only encourages them to do their best academically but also teaches them how to be kind and treat others well. My kids love being a part of her class!

Cristin Serio Posted 2 months ago

Carmen works so hard for her students and goes above and beyond to give them an excellent education but also teaching them how to be kind and treat others. She's been a blessing to our family!

Laura Nave Posted 2 months ago

Mrs Smith is a fabulous teacher to my daughter. She has invested greatly in her to instill a confidence and a love for math. She makes learning fun while challenging the kids. She is available to parents and kids alike for questions or needs always going above and beyond the classroom. We are so thankful for Mrs Smith and all that she does. My child is interested in engineering and other stem fields because of the love of math she has shared with her.

Elaine Wilder Posted 2 months ago

Carmen is the perfect mix of hard work, integrity and heart. Her love for students and their parents is obvious. For Carmen, teaching isn’t just a job. It is a calling and a way of life. She is changing the world one student at a time.

Lorie Culp Posted 2 months ago

Carmen is an amazing teacher with a true passion to see her students succeed. She consistently finds creative ways to engage students and help them reach their potential.

Cathy LaMont Posted 2 months ago

Carmen is an amazing teacher and friend! She goes above and beyond for every single student every day! We appreciate her so much!

Candice Walker Posted 2 months ago

Carmen, I always love how you work towards distinguished in all that you do. Meeting the expectation is never good enough for you. You want to exceed the expectation. That drive and focus are what has made the largest impact in the lives of so many students. We are blessed and honored to have you as a part of the Sugar Hill ES family.

Denise Hefner Posted 2 months ago

I have watched Carmen teach, lead, help others, be a mom, a friend, a daughter, a sister, and a wife. She does it all so well and pours full heart into everything she does! It's a joy to have her in our school and our community. She is a valuable asset to Sugar Hill Elementary and our local community.

Tiffany English Posted 2 months ago

Carmen is an incredible teacher who not only teaches her kids to think and analyze, but also to be kind and helpful. She is amazing!!!

Kristin Hill Posted 2 months ago

Carmen, you have been given the gift of teaching and have positively impacted the students and teachers around you for years! It is an honor to work with you!

Cindy Hong Posted 3 months ago

I am privileged to know such a dear friend and colleague Carmen, because she is truly someone who gives 200% to everything she does and leaves people feeling inspired and encouraged to be a better person! She is so innovative in her strategies of teaching to ensure that students are successful in their learning. Her heart towards the students extend far more than just meeting their educational needs. So I believe that she is truly a life changer.

Sonya Hong Posted 3 months ago

I have been incredibly blessed to have both of my children learn Accelerated Math with Mrs. Carmen Smith! If anyone can teach Math with passion, creativity, and giftedness, it is Mrs. Smith. She genuinely loves and cares for her students and that's so special in a teacher. I am forever grateful for having her teach my children at Sugar Hill Elementary School. She always had a smile on her face and was a source of encouragement to my children! She's one of those teachers that leaves a lasting impact. It's wonderful that she has been nominated, and I believe she truly deserves it! Thank you, Carmen, for being a life changer in my children's education and lives!!!!!

Nick Boyers Posted 3 months ago

Carmen does a great job providing hands-on and real-world content into her lessons. Her lessons are thought provoking, rigorous, and engaging for students. Carmen has done a great job shifting from in-person school to digital, and now to concurrent. In each model, she's provided content that is easily accessible to students and helps them grow as learners and leaders. Carmen is an asset to Sugar Hill Elementary!

Julie Treadwell Posted 3 months ago

I was honored to collaborate with Nikki in showcasing Carmen Smith and her MANY contributions to SHES. Carmen is one of those teachers that not only impacts the students she teaches but the teachers she works with. Simply put, she makes others better. I have had the privilege of working alongside Carmen, benefitting from her vast math knowledge and how to best deliver content to students of diverse abilities. For the past three years, I have served as an Assistant Principal with the distinct pleasure of supporting Carmen in her various teaching and leadership roles. Carmen is a natural leader who lifts up those around her, inspiring them to be their best for their students. She is most definitely a Life Changer, and certainly worthy of recognition. Congrats, Carmen! We are so proud of you!

Joan Gearhart Posted 3 months ago

I have had the privilege of working with Carmen Smith at Sugar Hill Elementary School. Carmen has been a life changer for her many students year after year as she introduces them to higher concept learning. She has fostered originality, creativity, understanding, and self- awareness (FOCUS) in her students. She has also stepped up to a leadership position contributing to the continued education of her peers, designing and leading workshops during teacher planning time. Her innovative, shared ideas on teaching math have been life changing for countless teachers who work to improve teaching styles and provide learning opportunities for all students. Congratulations Carmen, for this well deserved nomination!

Faith Mani Posted 3 months ago

Mrs. Smith was my 5th grade AC math and FOCUS teacher. It was in her class where my love of math grew and now it is my favorite subject. Math did not come easy to me, especially in elementary school, so I am very grateful to have had such a patient and understanding teacher like Mrs. Smith. She recognized my potential and always encouraged me to push myself. I am so thankful for Mrs. Smith and my schooling at Sugar Hill Elementary for their role in making me who I am today. Congratulations Mrs. Smith on this nomination! There is no one more deserving than you!

David Greer Posted 3 months ago

Mrs. Smith was such an amazing teacher. She made her class as fun as it could possibly be based on all the math related games, puzzles, and activities that made everyone love her class. She was an amazing teacher and I was lucky to have her.

Karen Greer Posted 3 months ago

I have had the pleasure of knowing Carmen Smith for the past 12 years and she has taught one of my children in Elementary School. She is a wonderfully kind, bright smiling teacher who goes above and beyond with her teachings for her students. She is always finding new ways to approach a lesson and finds joy in teaching Math! Carmen is well deserving of such an honor!

Faith Mani Posted 3 months ago

Mrs. Smith was my 5th grade AC math and FOCUS teacher. It was in her class where my love of math grew and now it is my favorite subject. Math did not come easy to me, especially in elementary school, so I am very grateful to have had such a patient and understanding teacher like Mrs. Smith. She recognized my potential and always encouraged me to push myself. I am so thankful for Mrs. Smith and my schooling at Sugar Hill Elementary for their role in making me who I am today. Congratulations Mrs. Smith on this nomination! There is no one more deserving than you!

Kevin Soroko Posted 3 months ago

Carmen has been an amazing neighbor and friend. I know she truly cares for the work she does with kids. She loves seeing them grow and enjoy math. She actually makes math fun! As a neighbor, she is always willing to help and has a giving spirit. We are blessed to have her in our lives!

Mikayla Murphy Posted 3 months ago

Mrs. Smith was my second grade teacher 13 years ago, and I still remember how she interacted so positively with her students. Even after all these years, she continues to keep in contact with me and my classmates. She has truly made a lifelong impression on my learning and who I am as a person!

Annie M Posted 3 months ago

I am the mother of the “middle child” and I am so thankful that my daughter was nominated by her. My daughter herself was shocked that she was chosen because she underestimated her own potential. Carmen has been such an encouragement to my children promoting a hard work ethic while having fun and celebrating their successes along the way. She exudes joy when she teaches math planting little seeds of curiosity and excitement in their young minds. My kids have enjoyed and excelled in math through the foundations she has set. She has never compared my children to each other but nurtures their individual abilities. She is not only invested in their academic success but their emotional well being as well. Whenever they faced challenges unrelated to math, she would be the first to notice and guide them through it. I can attest that she truly is a life changer for those whom she has taught over the years especially the 3 in my own home.

Crystal Barnes Posted 3 months ago

Carmen has an incredible heart, a passion for math and a genuine love of teaching. She bursts with pride for her students and works so hard for them everyday. She is an educator who goes above and beyond for her students without a second thought. She is, without a doubt, a life changer.

Annie M Posted 3 months ago

I am the mother of the “middle child” and I am so thankful that my daughter was nominated by her. My daughter herself was shocked that she was chosen because she underestimated her own potential. Carmen has been such an encouragement to my children promoting a hard work ethic while having fun and celebrating their successes along the way. She exudes joy when she teaches math planting little seeds of curiosity and excitement in their young minds. My kids have enjoyed and excelled in math through the foundations she has set. She has never compared my children to each other but nurtures their individual abilities. She is not only invested in their academic success but their emotional well being as well. Whenever they faced challenges unrelated to math, she would be the first to notice and guide them through it. I can attest that she truly is a life changer for those whom she has taught over the years especially the 3 in my own home.

Eddie Pérez Posted 3 months ago

Carmen is a fantastic person and has a beautiful family. She is passionate about education, and deserves this award!

Tiffani Posted 3 months ago

You are an amazing teacher! I wish I could have learned math from a teacher like you in elementary school!

KwonMin Lee Posted 3 months ago

She is definitely no.1 teacher and mentor for all students. She is so dedicated to teach students with the deepest warming heart . I have 2 kids. They love and respect her as she is.

Danielle Doolittle Posted 3 months ago

You are truly amazing. We are so blessed to have you in our lives and to have you teach Jayden. You bring out her love for learning and math. You have a God given talent to guide and teach children. Thank you for all you do!

Kelly Foss Posted 3 months ago

Mrs. Smith has been an incredible positive influence for our son. He has had the privilege of learning from her over the last three years. I can not tell you how reassuring it is to know that Mrs. Smith knows our son so well and goes above and beyond to help him not only academically, but also socially and emotionally. She has help shape our son into a smart, caring, and respectful young man and for that reason, it is with great excitement that my husband and I support her with this nomination!

Kathy Smith Posted 3 months ago

Mrs. Smith is such a wonderful teacher and we feel so very blessed that our son is in his 3rd year in her math class. My son enjoys learning math, but loves it even more with Mrs. Smith's guidance. He will tell you Mrs. Smith makes learning math fun. She is kind, nurturing, encouraging and simply one of the best teachers around! Congratulations, Mrs. Smith!

Kelly Sundgren Posted 3 months ago

Carmen is such a tremendous advocate for young students and makes a lasting impression on their self esteem, love of learning and math skills. Carmen taught my daughter in the second grade and that was over 11 years ago. To this day, Carmen remains our favorite educator. She made a lifelong impression on my daughter and our family and we are so excited to see her nominated for this honor!

Azeezat Samuel Posted 3 months ago

Mrs Smith has impacted and been an invaluable teacher to 3 of my children for the past 3yrs. Because of her my now 6th grader who's had a fear of math now loves it due to the foundation Mrs Smith has laid. Mrs Smith is just not a teacher she's an extraordinary teacher who is also very nurturing and treats every kid in her classroom just as special as the next, her mannerisms and method of teaching has made not only the children to love and appreciate her but the parents as well. One of the main qualities I personally appreciate about her is her keen interest in the children and observations of every child's countenance. She's not too busy to notice a child change, slipping or withdrawn, she catches and addresses it right away. She always carries each parent along on their child's progress or lack of ( if any). Mrs Smith is well deserving of this award and more. Congratulations!!!

Grace Mani Posted 3 months ago

I was one of the many students that had Ms. Smith for math 3 years in a row and I couldn’t be more grateful! I used to not really like math at all, but now because of her it’s my favorite subject. She nominated me for an opportunity I never knew I could be capable of and she believed in me every step of the way until I got it! Though I got the position, her support never ended. She continued to help me if I had any questions or she’d just make sure I was okay. She has taught each and every one of my siblings and left a lasting legacy in each of lives especially with me. Her classes were the highlights of all of my friend’s days and left great memories that I can still remember now. She would always look out for us not just academically, but mentally and physically as well. Ms. Smith helped me through a lot and she knew when I was going through a hard time and decided to take time out of her day to help me. She always made our class feel like a safe space for everyone. She put so much effort in making her kids feel welcome and apart of a family that cares for each other. She means the world to me and more than anyone she really deserves this after all the effort she puts into her job. Ms. Smith is an huge role model in my life and I wouldn’t trade my relationship with her for the world. There’s so much to say about how wonderful she is and this is only a tiny bit of it. She helped me become who I am today and my life would be in much more stress and much less motivation if it weren’t for her. I appreciate you so much Ms. Smith and I’m very happy for you!

Kristin Slater Posted 3 months ago

Carmen is a phenomenal teacher and collaborator. I really enjoy working with her. She is always willing to help me brainstorm best strategies to help my students. She has a deep love for learning that is contagious to students and staff.

Caleb Mani Posted 3 months ago

In my years of having Mrs. Smith from 3rd-5th grade, I can truly say that I am very lucky to have a teacher so talented, kind, and helpful as Mrs. Smith! She is very deserving of this reward because she has always been motivational, she always believed that we should try hard to show people what we are capable of. I greatly appreciate that she would always have us do fun activities like group projects, STEAM projects, origami, and the monthly challenges! She always wanted us to do well for us, though I wasn’t very good at CML, she always believed in me and in 4th and 5th grade, my scores on CML improved! Even if I messed up, she would always tell me it’s okay, there is always room for improvement and learning when mistakes happen! She would always do the “Question and Answer” segment on the white board, and I know what you might be thinking, it must’ve been boring math questions, but it wasn’t, it would be prompts about random things, it was always so much fun, and she would always do it so creatively! I really want to say more but, I must keep it short and sentimental! What I am trying to imply is, thank you so much for making my math experience at school a phenomenal experience, I am truly thankful to have had a teacher like you Mrs. Smith!

Dipal Patel Posted 3 months ago

Mrs. Smith is a great teacher. My daughter had her last year and has her again for this year as well. We are very fortunate to have her as a mentor & role model both. She is amazing with kids. She makes math fun & exciting. Thank you for everything you do, we appreciate you.

Terri Beech Posted 3 months ago

Carmen Smith is a true Life Changer. I watched Carmen teach my children how to thrive in elementary school and grow as confident students. My children are now 24 and 26 years old, independent adults living out of state, who will both say, “Ms. Smith!” if you ask them who was their favorite teacher. Ms. Smith was their third grade teacher, and she taught them how to approach, understand, and enjoy reading and math, the foundations for successful adulthood. My daughter was captivated by Ms. Smith’s creative process of reading and discussing a good book, so that my daughter learned how to embrace the joy of reading, and the ability to dissect a story and describe the different elements. From dressing as a character and recreating a storyline, to writing a book review, to engaging with other students over stories and surprises, Ms. Smith fostered a love for exploration through education. My son was equally engaged by Ms. Smith’s teaching style, especially in mathematics. Ms. Smith has a keen and critical ability to teach numbers and systems to all students, and adapting the instruction to her students’ learning strengths. If my son struggled with a concept, Ms. Smith would show him how to approach the system in different ways until he could complete the process. Learning this foundational approach in third grade set my son for success (I’m not saying his degree in Economics is because of Ms. Smith, but she is a life changer). As a parent of Ms. Smith’s students, I appreciated her teaching them the importance of organization, the comfort of total-inclusion and support in her classroom, and instilling the importance of doing good work so they would be proud of their efforts. Ms. Smith taught my children how to be confident students who embraced the challenges in learning. While children in elementary school often struggle with fitting in and feeling overwhelmed, Ms. Smith builds a safe environment for her students to trust her process and their own explorations. Carmen is truly a Life Changer.

Courtney Posted 3 months ago

Mrs. Smith is an amazing teacher! We have had the privilege of being in her class with both of our children. She is passionate and dedicated to both teaching and her students. She continually thinks of fun ways for the students to engage, and her adaptation to hybrid teaching during COVID has been no different. She is caring, nurturing, organized, detailed, articulate, and great with communication. She is committed to her students and school, and providing the best education. My older child always enjoyed her class and hands on learning style. Mrs. Smith was always thinking outside of the box with fun learning activities. I have seen my younger child thrive in her math class. She has become more confident in her math abilities under the direction of Mrs. Smith, and really looks forward to her class. We love Mrs. Smith!

Dr. Taffeta Connery Posted 3 months ago

Ms. Smith promotes a loving, nurturing, and empowering classroom learning environment that propels her students towards high achievement. Her students love to learn! When they enter her classroom, despite the vast diverse background knowledge they bring, by the end of the year they are scoring in the high proficient and distinguished ranges. The level of rigor is evident in the types of real-world tasks you provide students and their ability to articulate their learning is impressive. I highly recommend, Ms. Smith for this outstanding recognition because she models high engagement, high expectations, and a highly level of student accountability for all!

Ericka Grant Posted 3 months ago

Mrs. Carmen Smith has been my son Malachi’s math teacher for 4 years, and she remains one of his favorite teachers. Malachi is so blessed to have a teacher like Mrs. Smith. Mrs. Smith truly loves teaching, loves the students and is so excited about math. My husband and I could see the impact Mrs. Smith had on our son almost immediately. Any new math concept learned by is celebrated in her classroom, and she takes so much pride in being an educator. Her love for the students, education and teaching math shines. Mrs. Smith is not afraid to challenge my son and set expectations from the start that all students give their best and work hard. She is able to do this while creating a engaging, fun, friendly and encouraging atmosphere . She stays in communication with parents and doesn’t shy away from addressing any concerns. We are going to miss Mrs. Smith and her beautiful smile when our son goes to middle school next year. But we are convinced that Mrs. Smith has prepared Malachi with the tools and confidence in math to excel at the middle school level.

Raisa Posted 3 months ago

Mrs. Smith is a great teacher. My son goes to her lessons with pleasure and believes that mathematics is the most favorite and interesting subject.

Anton Posted 3 months ago

Mrs. Smith is my son's 4th grade teacher. Thank you very much for the fact that my son enjoys doing mathematics. Thanks to her, he is sure that mathematics is fun and interesting!

Lauren Zapata Posted 3 months ago

Mrs. Smith is an outstanding teacher, mentor, role model, and colleague! She is shaping the minds of our future leaders. We love you, Mrs. Smith!

Dr. Massie McAdoo Posted 3 months ago

I've known Carmen more than 10 years. We served as Mathematics Specialists with the Georgia Department of Education. Carmen supported mathematics teachers and leaders through change by inspiring them to focus on developing equitable learning environments. She provided high-quality professional learning opportunities throughout the state, and equipped teachers to leverage evidence-based strategies in their daily practice. Carmen's success as a classroom teacher is evidenced by numerous awards and recognitions. Her work and leadership has a tremendous impact on the ability of her students to be independent thinkers with exceptional capacity to apply their mathematics learning. She is certainly a tremendous asset to her classroom, school, and district. I am honored to speak on her behalf and hope she receives this well-deserved honor.

Lisa Watkins Posted 3 months ago

My daughter’s favorite subject is Math due in large part to how fun Ms. Smith is able to make it. She’s always kind and it’s easy to see how much she genuinely cares about her students and how much time and effort she puts into these kids. Our students are very lucky to have such a dedicated teacher.

Dr. Taffeta Connery Posted 3 months ago

Ms. Smith promotes a loving, nurturing, and empowering classroom learning environment that propels her students towards high achievement. Her students love to learn! When they enter her classroom, despite the vast diverse background knowledge they bring, by the end of the year they are scoring in the high proficient and distinguished ranges. The level of rigor is evident in the types of real-world tasks you provide students and their ability to articulate their learning is impressive. I highly recommend, Ms. Smith for this outstanding recognition because she models high engagement, high expectations, and a highly level of student accountability for all!

Lynn Parrish Posted 3 months ago

Carmen's dedication to her students, enthusiasm for math and teaching, and her unending optimism is an inspiration to us all.

Rocky McMurtray Posted 3 months ago

Carmen is an amazing person. Having known her for nearly all of our lives, I have seen the tremendous positive impact on so many lives, above and beyond just those as her students. She lives as an example for those who aspire to be their best selves. We consider ourselves among the lucky to have Carmen in our lives. For those that have had the fortune of having her teach them, they too will understand the impact she has had on them for all of their days. Congrats and continued best wishes.

Lynda Mauborgne Posted 3 months ago

Carmen H. Smith has always been professional, passionate, and compassionate with all stakeholders. When we taught at the same school, she was always willing to share resources, strategies, and her time with anyone who asked for her help. Although we worked on different teams, Carmen always made herself available but never forced her ideas on anyone. She was always passionate about doing her best for all students. She took the time to ensure all students understood the concepts, mastered the necessary skills, and worked diligently to differentiate the content, process, and product for every child. Carmen has always been well liked and respected by her colleagues, students, parents, and school leaders. She always exhibited kindness, patience, and respect to everyone. Even though we currently work in different schools, Carmen is always willing to share her time and ideas. Her pattern of giving of herself has only grown stronger and her circle of influence has also grown exponentially. I am proud to be Carmen’s colleague. She continues to encourage everyone to be, do, and give their best. Her passion for giving never wavers. Carmen touches not only the minds of children, but also their hearts. ??

Manny Lee Posted 3 months ago

Mrs. Smith is my son’s math teacher. Mrs. Smith is a fantastic teacher who demonstrated her care and love toward her students. In addition, all her students learn how to succeed in math. From the professional perspective, Mrs. Smith is very diligent worker who constantly looks for ways to improve her knowledge and skill that can help her students succeed. My son is very lucky to meet Mrs. Smith. Thank you very much for all your hard works and congratulations on all of your accomplishments!

Lisa Kelly Posted 3 months ago

My daughter was blessed to have Carmen as a teacher twice during her elementary school years. Carmen (Ms. Hail back then) was part of my daughter’s teaching team in 2nd grade and again in 5th grade. I was continually impressed by the way she managed to meet the needs of children who demonstrated a wide range of abilities and learning styles. After many, many years, I’m still moved by the genuine respect she showed for each of her students. Carmen brought tremendous passion and enthusiasm to the classroom; she is definitely a life changer!

Nicky Jeevanayagam Posted 3 months ago

Our son was in the Level 3 self contained setting (with an Autism diagnosis)at SHES several years ago. Carmen knew my son (although she never taught him) and along with Mrs. DeNucci (his Special Ed teacher) encouraged him to participate in the after school Wittzle Pro club/tournament. He not only participated but was placed First in the tournament among other schools and was so excited at winning that medal! Today, he is completing his first semester at college and excelling. We are so thankful for Carmen and her encouragement and love for all children, especially our son. She saw his potential and worth as a person. She believed in him even before he believed in himself. She helped to instill a sense of confidence in his many talents. We are not surprised at this recognition of her!

Liz Yow Posted 3 months ago

Carmen is a very dedicated teacher and willing to offer help anytime. I remember working her her over 21 years ago in Stone Mountain. She had so many great ideas to offer when teaching word families. She even created word family flip books.

Liz Jones Posted 3 months ago

Thank you for always believing in our children! Your hardwork, dedication and a piece of your heart that you give every student always shows! May GOD continue to Bless you and guide your way to many more accomplishments! A BIG hooray and THANK YOU for all you do! W/Love The Jones

Alice Carscaddon Posted 3 months ago

I had the pleasure of working on the same grade level as Carmen Smith for 3 1/2 years. One of the first things I noticed about her was the compassion that she had for her students. It came from the bottom of her heart and was so sincere. She continues to be dedicated to creating engaging math lessons and activities that not only meet, but also challenge, the many different levels of learners that she teaches. She greets each of her students with the warmest smile every day and takes the time to get to know each of them and their families personally. Because of these qualities her students know that they can count on her. They know that Mrs. Smith is there every day to support them and to help them in both their math skills and in their personal growth.

Trina Ashadele Posted 3 months ago

So proud of you!! Well deserved.

Michelle Magana Posted 3 months ago

Carmen is an incredible human being. Not only is she an incredible math teacher but a wonderful friend, neighbor and human being. When you are in the presence of Carmen, you know you are in the presence of someone special. To know Carmen is to love her.

Tyler Smith Posted 3 months ago

My mom (or as you may know her), Carmen smith, has been there since day one. She’s thought me math since 2nd grade and still is always there to ask me if I need help with math even in middle school. She always offers help and becomes everyone’s favorite teacher. Even people come to the school office to be in her class. Recently after covid 19 started my mom has given 200% in everything she gets dinner ready brings me to my sports and works literally every minute of the day. And she still keeps a beautiful smile and keeps a positive attitude through everything. She’s helped me through everything throughout my life and I hope that I can start helping her out more. All my friends who have been in her class always have had her as their favorite teacher and have always enjoyed her class. One of the things I remember hearing from them a lot during other classes in elementary school was that they were so excited to go to her class. Thank you for reading

Susanna Roberts Posted 3 months ago

Congratulations Carmen!!! You are so deserving of this award. You are so dedicated to your students and go above and beyond every day! I will forever be grateful to you for your willingness to always accept my students in special Ed in your classes and treat them with such care and meet them where they were. You are the definition of a team player!! Congrats sweet friend! You are such a wonderful example for your fellow educators!

Cindy Witchousky Posted 3 months ago

Congratulations Carmen! It has been a true pleasure to work alongside this year for the betterment of our students. It’s obvious that you know your content and you share your expertise with others which impacts all the kids at Sugar Hill. Year after year, the students you serve from my class can’t wait to go to your math class and are always smiling when they come back. They are excited to talk about what they have learned from you and what you have helped them learn themselves. You are a true asset to our school and the families you serve.

Karen Burgbacher Posted 3 months ago

Carmen is an amazing teacher and has truly been a blessing to our family. She taught 2 of our daughters in elementary school. They were very inspired by her teaching and constant encouragement she gave them. She continues to reach out to our family and share opportunities that would benefit them years after being their teacher. We are so grateful to have had Carmen

Manny Lee Posted 3 months ago

Mrs. Smith is my son's math teacher. Mrs. Smith is passionate with her students. In addition, she is constantly looking for various ways to improve her skill sets and help her students. Mrs. Smith clearly demonstrated her dedication, passion, love and professionalism not just to her students but everyone in Sugar Hills Elementary School. We are luck to have Mrs. Smith in Sugar Hills Elementary School. Thank you very much for all your help!

The Slater Family Posted 3 months ago

Thank you so much for the love and time you put in to your lessons. Your love for math is contagious, and you have made such an impact on our daughter. We appreciate you so much!

Catherine Posted 3 months ago

Mrs. Smith is my son's math teacher at Sugar Hill Elementary School.She teaches my son (and I believe other students as well) how fun the subject is. She teaches math not just by books but with other means such as drawings, origami etc. that math is all around us. My son's favorite subject is math, and I really appreciate for her hard work. Thank you, Mrs. Smith.

Kerry Murphy Posted 3 months ago

My three kids have all had the pleasure of having Ms. Smith as their math teacher and year after year she is an absolute favorite teacher for all of them. She's given my kids an incredible foundation for lifelong success in math. She's kind and patient and has a magical warmth that kids really respond to. In these strange Covid digital learning days I've had the pleasure of overhearing some of her lessons and admitted to her that she taught this old lady some tricks as well! We love you Ms. Smith!

Lisa Watkins Posted 3 months ago

My daughter’s favorite subject is Math due in large part to how fun Ms. Smith is able to make it. She’s always kind and it’s easy to see how much she genuinely cares about her students and how much time and effort she puts into these kids. Our students are very lucky to have such a dedicated teacher.

Tricia Wilbanks Posted 3 months ago

Carmen, I am so excited for you! You are a wonderful asset to our school! Congratulations! You are an amazing teacher! It is evident how much you love your children!

Janet Davis Posted 3 months ago

Congratulations Carmen, you certainly deserve this award and more! You have a love for teaching mathematics that shines in everything you do!

Christine Godfrey Posted 3 months ago

My son had Carmen for several years and he absolutely thrived with her. She helped him establish the foundation that he has continued to build upon for continued success not only in math but other subjects as well. The way she teaches and engages with her students is not something you find often. She knows her students and invests in them so they can become the best that they can be. There is no doubt in the mind that she has changed the lives of so many students including my son’s. I have witnessed her former students returning to visit her during and after high school and college. That is the epitome of a life changer. As a teacher, she is in a class all her own. As a friend, her love for her students and profession is evident in every interaction.

Antonella Rendon Posted 3 months ago

Ms. Smith is one of the best teachers I had for my kids. She loves to teach and that is very important. She is always encouraging the kids and telling them how good they are and all kinds of positive stuff which is very important. She gives her very best every day, cares about the kids and has time for all of them and the parents. We love you Ms. Smith and we thank you so much for all you do. The world would be so much different if we had more teachers like you!

Jen Warchol Posted 3 months ago

Congratulations! Very well deserving for a wonderful teacher!

Sharon Spencer Posted 3 months ago

Thank you for encouraging and instilling a love of math in our grandson, Gavin Keyes! Can't wait for his twin brothers to get you in class. I, on the other hand, could not help with math homework......it was a whole other animal from what I learned way back when. ?? Gavin usually ended up "teaching " me! Thank you for all you do!

Shamika Posted 3 months ago

Carmen is a beautiful person, inside and out. She has a heart of gold, and a love for teaching and education. Congratulations Carmen on all of your accomplishments. You ROCK!!!!

Bob Posted 3 months ago

Carmen's multiple awards are proof of her expertise and accomplishments of her students. Carmen has a joyful amiable personality. These traits allow her to quickly relate to both students and peers alike. She is able to instill the love of learning in her students and bask in the knowledge that she had a part in their education and maturation.. More importantly, this is evidenced by the love and appreciation shown by her former students as they return to visit her years later to acknowledge her efforts and thank her for her inspiration. That testament alone proves her valuable nurturing for the education of our children, instilling self-confidence and set the ground work for their future successes (the true purpose of the educational system).

Shana Keyes Posted 3 months ago

Mrs Smith was my son's math teacher for 3 years at Sugar Hill. Gavin was good at math, but she instilled a true love of math in him. She was encouraging, made it fun and built a solid foundation for him going into middle school! Without fail, math was always a favorite subject thanks to her!! We love you!

Chris Hutcheson Posted 3 months ago

Carmen Smith has been the epitome of a life changer her entire career. She serves as a leader in her school, county and state while teaching students the joy of learning. She changes lives every day by sparking her students’ desire to learn and to see the World through eyes of wonder.

Kevin Reagan Posted 3 months ago

My experience with Mrs. Smith began when she was still Ms. Hail teaching 2nd grade in Dekalb county. Even as a child, I could feel that she was special- her energy and methods of explaining things were more effective at breaking through a child's apathy than any teacher before or after. I was lucky enough to have her again in fifth grade, but for me, her impacts go far beyond the classroom. My family and I built a relationship with Mrs. Smith that has lasted to this day. She has helped me with struggles that had nothing to do with class and given time and attention when she owed none, all because of the exceptional person that she is. When I was living in Miami, she would make sure to get in touch with me when she was in town so we could grab lunch, and she was even able to make it to my college graduation in the same place. Carmen does not just deserve this award solely because of the work she does in the classroom- while that is incredible, it is the connection that she is able to make with students and the impact and genuine love that she emanates from her very soul that make her the perfect person to receive an award like this. As someone who's life she changed early on, I cannot think of a more fitting title than "Life Changer of the Year."

Justin Brown Posted 3 months ago

As a 6th grade teacher at Lanier Middle, I have always been so impressed with the students Carmen sends me. The students she sends are true leaders in the classroom and are overly prepared for 6th grade math. This is all a testament to her. Thank you Carmen!

Jeb Sundgren Posted 3 months ago

Carmen taught my daughter in second grade at SHES (she is now a freshman in college) and to this day, was one of her favorite teachers. Carmen is passionate about all of her students and her school. She has a kind heart with a love for teaching!

Brantley Lott Posted 3 months ago

We always knew our son enjoyed the subject of Math, but under Carmen, he absolutely thrived in her gifted math class. She has that perfect combination of intelligence, compassion, competence and amazing teaching skills, and she loves and cares about each one of her students. She has earned all the accolades she has received, and she definitely deserves the Lifechanger of the Year Award. Thank you for the difference you make in the kids' lives, Carmen!

Daichi Takasue Posted 3 months ago

Touching story and background! Anyone who makes such a positive impact towards society has my utmost respect! Keep going and please let “RS” know I said hello!

Dennis Arrowood Posted 3 months ago

My son had her as his math teacher in elementary school. He loves math and is about to graduate from Ga Tech with a maths degree. She was an amazing teacher then and has continued to teach, share and challenge her students for all of these years. I know that she has had a lasting effect on my son and I am so thankful for her showing him all those years ago that math can be fun.

Pam Conlon Posted 3 months ago

Ms. Smith taught math to two out of three of my kiddos. She is an amazing teacher. Her methods truly help kids learn a foundation they can build upon as they tackle advanced math in later grades. She greets students with a smile. She asks how they are doing and what is going on in their lives. She cares about these kids as if they are her own. I truly feel my kids' lives are enriched due to Ms. Smith's dedication and commitment to teaching.

Penny Conlon Posted 3 months ago

Mrs. Smith is an amazing teacher she teaches in a fun way and makes me want to go to school each day. She is always there for us and is very kind and caring. She definitely deserves this award.

Michelle Swain Posted 3 months ago

I knew of Mrs. Smith years before I had actually met her. She is the talk of the town amongst many parents I know whom she has taught their students. Mrs. Smith has the reputation of showing her students love while teaching them to reach for the stars. When I first started working in the same school as Mrs. Smith, I got to see first hand that her reputation preceded her. The impact that she makes on her students will be a part of their learning toolbox for the rest of their academic career. The impact that she makes in their lives will influence them to…reach for the stars!

Tim Conlon Posted 3 months ago

I was a student of Mrs. Smiths for 3 years. She is a great teacher and is the reason I love math. Sh

Lucia Treviño Posted 3 months ago

Mrs. Smith taught my son in elementary first as his second grade teacher, then as his Math enrichment teacher. She left such a life-lasting mark in him... she inspired him to do his best day in and day out. She truly made connections with each and everyone of her students and kept in touch with them even years later... to the point that when he was a a high-school football player moving on to state semi-finals, she made a poster to cheer for him and other players whom she had taught in elementary. She also was the kind of teacher who took the time to write a personalized senior letter to him when he was about to graduate. No wonder why she is one of his favorite teachers! Mrs. Smith is definitely a Life Changer of the Year!

Marcia H. Posted 3 months ago

Carmen Smith is 100% devoted to teaching her students. She is constantly thinking and perfecting ways to teach her students the best math skills, and she succeeds. I have watched her from afar and felt her ambiance with students, parents/guardians and fellow teachers. Friendship and respect prevail with each meeting. I have read her great accomplishments written on this nomination. I am not surprised, but it does make me realize how humble she is because many have never been mentioned. Ms. Smith’s dedication to her students and their learning is ever-present. Her character is diligent, persistent,resourceful,resilient,affable,trustworthy and convivial. She is definitely a life-changer,and for the better.

Priya Nair Posted 3 months ago

She is a phenomenal teacher and always tried to motivate kids to be excel . My son Neil was lucky to be in her class . Math was not only fun but her teaching made it interesting. Wishing her all the very best. She definitely deserves this nomination.

Elizabeth Sarchet Posted 3 months ago

Congratulations We are so proud of YOU!

Allison Callahan Posted 3 months ago

So very proud of you, Carmen. No one is more deserving.

Nadine Brooks Posted 3 months ago

Congratulations!!!! Teachers are the heart of the world and your story has touched mine. "Aim High"

Caleb Napier Posted 3 months ago

I had Mrs. Smith for my AC math classes when I was in 4th and 5th grade. She is still one of the best teachers I have ever had because of how well she connected with her students and how she was able to teach the material while keeping the class fun and relaxed. She was a teacher that was always there for me if I needed to talk about something or if I needed help with school. She impacted me personally by helping me realize what I was capable of learning and by pushing me to do my best. Mrs. Smith believed in me, and I have excelled in Math every year since I was in her class. I believe that she is a big reason for that.

Georgia Tsioutsiouli Posted 3 months ago

“A great teacher is above all other treasures” and this is so true for Carmen Smith, my daughter's Advanced Math teacher for 3 years now. Mrs. Smith is one of the best and we are so happy with her nomination on the “2020-2021 Life Changer of the Year Program” as she has changed my daughter’s life. Mrs. Smith really really cares for her students and spends a lot of time and effort in and outside the classroom. Her positive attitude and smile make my daughter feel sad when there is no class. Her encouragement and dedication have helped our daughter built up her confidence and know she can conquer any difficulties that may come her way. Most important, my daughter loves math and is confused when other people talk about difficult math problems. As many 7-year old girls, my daughter was afraid of math, especially around an older brother who loves math and can make calculations fast. Mrs. Smith made math easy by explaining everything clearly, helping my daughter understand using visuals, but mainly by boosting her confidence in her ability to do math. If math is life, Mrs. Smith has put my daughter on the road to success. Carmen Smith is a "once in a lifetime" teacher that will stay with us forever as a teacher who shaped our daughter’s life.

Angie Arrowood Posted 3 months ago

I had the honor of having Carmen Smith teach my children math during their time at Sugar Hill Elementary. Her passion for math and her love for her students comes through each and every day. She is a gifted educator and has made a profound impact on my children's lives (one at Ga Tech & one at Ga. State currently). She is truly dedicated to her students, their families, her school and her community. Thank you Carmen for truly fostering a love of learning in my children and countless other children. This community is very lucky to have you.

Gina Napier Posted 3 months ago

Ms. Smith has been a true advocate for my sons. She fostered their desire to learn and grow in their math skills. She could see their potential and encouraged each of them to pursue their goals. She challenged them to try new things, like join a math tournament that seemed intimidating, and in turn it boosted their confidence and furthered their love for mathematics. She always encouraged them and to this day, after several years since she was their teacher, they look back on that time and say hers was some of their favorite classes in elementary school. Ms. Smith will always be one of their most revered teachers and I am deeply grateful for her influence on my children’s lives.

William Napier Posted 3 months ago

Mrs. Smith has been one of the greatest teachers I could ask for. The two years I had with her in 4th and 5th grade have made me appreciate everything she’s done for me as a student, welcoming and supporting everyone who comes through the door. I’ve come together with some of my best friends today because of Mrs. Smith’s class and how she made all of us feel like one team. She truly goes above and beyond to support all her students, and I couldn’t ask for a kinder teacher. Thank you so much, Mrs. Smith.

Barbara Smith Posted 3 months ago

Carmen is very dedicated in making sure all her students learn as much as possible. Congratulations!????

Emily Pricr Posted 3 months ago

I have known Mrs. Carmen Smith for over 12 years. I had the pleasure of working with her son Tyler at The Goddard School. I got to watch him grow and partnered with Carmen to ensure that he was well taken care of and learning. Learning is such an important aspect for Carmen. I have been able to watch her journey and know that learning and teaching are at the forefront of her life. She never stops learning and thrives in the teaching environment. I am so excited for this amazing opportunity that she has her career.

Christina Godfrey Posted 3 months ago

As Carmen's former principal, I had the honor of seeing her hard work and dedication daily for six years. Her rapport with students, parents, and staff is unmatched. Her impact is far reaching as she was instrumental in leading staff development within our school and the district. She is a true asset to the hundreds of students she has worked with over the years. She is approachable, organized, hard-working, creative. Carmen is one in a million!

Debra A Rigsby Posted 3 months ago

I know Carmen in different aspects. First and foremost, as a teacher of Gifted or Advanced math students. She worked with my oldest grandson to help him reach his maximum potential in math. Under her guidance, he became an independent learner whose self-confidence grew each year that he was with her for math. His greatest accomplishment under her guidance was being a part of the group of students who completed for the Continental Math League. Mrs. Smith also worked with my middle grandson. She taught him in Advance math and helped him to understand that he also has great math skills. Under her guidance, he gained more self-confidence as a student and as a mathematician. As a peer, I have watched Carmen go above and beyond to help her colleagues understand how to teach the math skills in a fun and engaging manner so they all students can feel successful and enjoy math. She taught numerous staff development/personal growth classes to our faculty, and always provided the lesson plans and games templates on-line so the teachers could easily assess them. She researched new and better math curriculum and provided the findings to our administrators, so that they could purchase said curriculum to enhance the students' understanding of the skills. In all of my 34 years in education, I can not think of any other educator who pours her heart and soul into helping her students develop into self-confident, independent, self-motivated learners who also learn to love, understand, and appreciate math.

Erin Chalfin Posted 3 months ago

CONGRATULATIONS~ You are so deserving of this award! You are a LIFE CHANGER = a wonderful, hard working person and an AMAZING teacher!!! You make such a difference in many children's lives. I feel lucky to know such an inspiring teacher.

Meredith Ramey Zucal Posted 3 months ago

Mrs.Smith, You are the magic! You inspire academic courage in your learners, which leads to classroom excellence and strengthening of the student’s character. It is an honor to have a brave learner in your classroom.

Naifa White Posted 3 months ago

Carmen Smith is an exceptional educator and person. She consistently empowers her students to achieve their highest potential and overcome self-doubt. My daughter was in her class during second grade, and now third grade. She routinely talks about how much she enjoys Mrs. Smith's math classes. Additionally, when assignments seem especially challenging, Mrs. Smith provides ample support and encouragement, asking. "Are you okay?" and providing clear examples. Math is definitely, not my strong suit. It's very refreshing to have such a capable, professional and engaging educator who truly loves her work and her students!! She is definitely is a LIFE Changer!!

Jenny Blackburn Posted 3 months ago

I am in awe of the hard work you do on a daily basis! You love math and work to enrich the work of your students. I know the kids that come to your class work hard, but love the work they are doing. Thank you for all you do!

Rene Barnes Posted 3 months ago

Carmen, You are such an inspiration to me. I love to see students as they enter and exit your classroom. They are full of joy and excitement. Thank you for all the effort you put into making our students the best they can be! And thank you for your continued friendship.

Lori Hannigan Posted 3 months ago

Thank you for continued commitment to our students at Sugar Hill. We are so blessed to have you as a teacher! :)

Kathryn DeWire Posted 3 months ago

I have always been impressed with the work that you do here at Sugar Hill, but I did not fully understand the impact you have and your sphere of influence until now. Thank you for all you do.

Stephanie Williams Posted 3 months ago

I had the honor of working with Carmen when she was a second grade teacher at her previous school district. She is a gifted and dedicated educator, whose influence with students extends beyond the classroom and school building walls. She’s the kind of teacher every parent wants their child to have. This is a well-deserved honor for Carmen!

Jan Hill Posted 3 months ago

CONGRATS!!!! I'm so PROUD of YOU!!!!!!!!!

Bryan Curtis Posted 3 months ago

She supports students as well as teachers with math content.

Patricia Tuazon Posted 3 months ago

My daughter had Carmen Smith for her 4th and 5th grade Advance Content Math. While I was proud that she was in that class, I was also worried that she might feel that she is in competition among her peers and that she will succumb to pressure. Those things didnt happen; many thanks to Carmen Smith. Carmen isn't just focused on the instructions but also made sure that her students are learning collectively, confidently. My daughter looks forward to being on Ms. Smith's class. She felt part of a team. That is why Ms. Smith's students do well in math competitions. To this day, everytime my daughter meets an elementary student of Sugar Hill ES, she would ask who they have for math. If the answer is Ms. Carmen Smith, she would say " Oh, how lucky you are!" And I agree.

Kurt Olson Posted 3 months ago

I have known Mrs. Carmen Smith since college and was so excited to find out my son would be in her class! She goes up and above every single day! My son has thrived in her class and can’t thank her enough for all her hard work.

Ashley Posted 3 months ago

She is golden . In every way. She is dedicated , passionate, helpful , loving , giving , kind , and so much more. I am so thankful she is in our community , doing so many wonderful things for children and families . The world needs her voice and her goodness.

Daichi Takasue Posted 3 months ago

Touching story and background! Anyone who makes such a positive impact towards society has my utmost respect! Keep going and please let “RS” know I said hello!

Nancy Minnich Posted 3 months ago

Carmen Smith was my daughter's 3rd-grade teacher about 16 years ago and she was outstanding in so many ways. Carmen was incredible at building my daughter's confidence in not only math but general life skills. Carmen was the most giving and caring teachers of my daughter's K-12 educational experience, the magical one. Carmen has the full package, creatitivy, ability to use differentiated instruction to meet students where they are, and a complete dedication and desire for ALL of her students to succeed! I am honored to cast a vote for Carmen Smith as a LifeChanger of the Year!

Terry Wegner Posted 3 months ago

I worked with Carmen for many years, and can attest to her professionalism and dedication to her students. She works hard to support her students, provide challenging and engaging lessons and to meet their unique needs. She includes parents in her school community, and is well respected by them. Carmen is a team player and I was proud to be a coworker. Carmen is an excellent example of the quality educators we have at Sugar Hill Elementary!

Kelli Pierre Posted 3 months ago

Carmen is an inspiration to her students and parents alike!

Dante Casale Posted 3 months ago

Ms. Smith was one of my elementary teachers when I attended Sugar Hill Elementary. She was very influential in the way I think about math in all grades after Elementary. She made math easier for me and I'm sure now she influences the minds of children to be their best, work hard, and push through failures. I loved her methods and I appreciate her efforts to push us to our best.

Caius T McWhirter Posted 3 months ago

Ms. Smith (at the time Hail) was my 5th grade History and Language Arts teacher in 2004. I have always loved history very much even before taking her class, but her class was the first time I realized that I could become a teacher myself one day. Ms. Hail definitely encouraged me to pursue learning history and possibly becoming a teacher one day. I am now in my third year of teaching high school social studies. She also encouraged me to become an even bigger reader and to read more for fun and not just what was required. This is a habit I retain to this day. Ms. Hail is a perfect example of a teacher. She has a direct influence on the lives of those she has taught, and she will continue to have an indirect impact on all those who will be influenced by her former students, case in point: my students. I can say that if I had not had Ms. Hail's class I probably would not have become a teacher and would never have had the chance to have a similar impact on my own students possibly following in our footsteps in the future. Thanks for all you've done, all you do, and all you will do in your life Ms. Hail! You are loved and appreciated!

jeraldine schlager Posted 3 months ago

“His 5th grade Math teacher molded and prepared him well for middle school” - words of my son’s 6th grade Math teacher. Yes, she is a great teacher, but she not only that, she develops a relationship not just with her students but also with the parents, my whole family loves her.

Wanjiku Ngugi Posted 3 months ago

My daughter was very fortunate to have had Ms. Smith as her Math teacher. It’s certainly says plenty about a teacher when one’s child comes home and talks about her mathematics class as was the case with my daughter. This was incredible for me as a parent to witness. I also saw how motivated my daughter became in math, so much so that after class with Ms. Smith ended, she asked for a middle school math workbook which she worked on before she even got to middle school. I believe that Ms. Smith most certainly deserves the Lifechanger of the Year Award.

Aprile Holland Posted 3 months ago

Carmen is not only a blessing and fabulous teacher to so many at Sugar Hill Elementary, she is also an amazing neighbor and friend that I have been so lucky to live next door to for the last 5 years. She deserves to be the Life Changer of the Year!

Nikki Soroko Posted 3 months ago

Carmen, I truly hope the voting committee sees what we all see! You are truly a rockstar and so deserving of this recognition. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything you do for our kids and our community.

Trina Ashadele Posted 3 months ago

So proud of you!! Well deserved.

John Su Posted 3 months ago

I have known few educators who breathe, sleep, and otherwise live to shape the leaders of tomorrow the way Mrs Smith does — and has for decades. I know students she’s taught that are now freshmen in high school taking advanced mathematics, and well on their way to STEM careers. Mrs Smith teaches vital skills in entertaining ways that engage youth, speak to their interests and priorities, and truly becomes part of their lives. Such educators deserve recognition, and I’m glad Mrs Smith is among this group. Kudos!

Jon Geel Posted 3 months ago

Carmen is the best!

Stephanie Williams Posted 3 months ago

I had the honor of working with Carmen when she was a second grade teacher at her previous school district. She is a gifted and dedicated educator, whose influence with students extends beyond the classroom and school building walls. She’s the kind of teacher every parent wants their child to have. This is a well-deserved honor for Carmen!

Barbara McNulty Posted 3 months ago

I have had the pleasure of working with Carmen Smith at Sugar Hill ES. As an administrator, I had the opportunity to observe and evaluate all the wonderful engaging activities Carmen incorporated into her learning rich environment. I'm so excited she's being honored as a nominee for Life Changer of the Year since she has changed the lives of many students over the year in her role as a dedicated educator.

Chandra Brandel Posted 3 months ago

Carmen is a phenomenal educator in our community! She is well-respected and goes above and beyond expectations to make sure her students excel at math! I had the pleasure of working at the same school as Carmen in the early 2000’s and saw first hand her passion for her students and her passion for math. As I’ve moved ahead in my career as a middle school math teacher, I still consider Carmen one of my go to advisors for all things math! She is most deserving of this award!

Amber Raines Posted 3 months ago

Miss Smith is a very caring person/teacher. She has left a big impact on our life's and every student that has entered her classroom as well. Her smile always makes you feel welcome.

Angelique Lawson Posted 3 months ago

I believe that not only is Carmen Smith and outstanding nominee for #LCOY but a winner! She is an amazing teacher who truly loves her job and students, a wonderful friend and has the kindest heart. She has such an incredible ability to help inspire a love for learning that I’ve experienced first hand with my own son. She is by far an amazing choice for #LCOY and will do amazing things if she is chosen!!

Tim Ruhl Posted 3 months ago

Mrs. Smith has taught our son for the last three years. He has grown tremendously in his confidence and his math reasoning. She makes connections with her students and families. Mrs. Smith teaches the whole child. Our son is always sharing a life lesson/good habit that she models for the students. Congratulations Mrs. Smith.

Michelle Ruhl Posted 3 months ago

Carmen is an amazing educator who is always willing to go the extra mile for any student and staff member. She builds self confidence in the students and then encourages and watches them soar to new heights!

Stephanie Williams Posted 3 months ago

I had the honor of working with Carmen when she was a second grade teacher at her previous school district. She is a gifted and dedicated educator, whose influence with students extends beyond the classroom and school building walls. She’s the kind of teacher every parent wants their child to have. This is a well-deserved honor for Carmen!

Madison Minnich Posted 3 months ago

I was lucky enough to be in Mrs. Smith's class about 14 years ago. Her joy of teaching was so apparent to me even as a second grader- she made learning so FUN. Her classroom was a warm, loving, and safe environment for everyone that entered. She absolutely lights up a room and is an instant role model to those around her. She puts her heart and soul into her students and it truly leaves a lasting impact. She treats her students as family and has been a mentor to me since I was in her classroom. I know that even today, I could go to her seeking advise and she would be there for me in a heartbeat. Her kindness is a rare find and the world is a better place with her in it!

Matthew Arrowood Posted 3 months ago

Ms. Smith taught me advanced math at Sugar Hill Elementary School. This year I plan to graduate from Georgia Tech with a bachelors in Mathematics. The direction of my life would be incomprehensibly different if Ms. Smith didn’t foster my intuition and love for mathematics. She showed me how useful math could be with basic algebraic problem solving. She showed me how beautiful math could be. Ms. Smith encouraged me to continue with my interest in math throughout middle and high school. She gave me advice on colleges and programs. She helped me with any technical questions I had, years after I had left her classroom. And while she hasn’t taught me in years, I feel she’s prepared me for a career in mathematics by nurturing my sense of mathematical curiosity far beyond the scope of a classroom. Thank you Ms. Smith! You deserve this!

Lynn Owings Posted 3 months ago

I am so honored to comment on Carmen’s nomination as I have always been so proud of her work and integrity. I was blessed to serve as a principal alongside Mrs. Smith and admired how she always made learning so real and exciting for children. Carmen connected with colleagues, families, and school partners to ensure success for the full school community. She supported all efforts to grow a love for learning in all children.

Meena Sajjan Posted 3 months ago

Ms Smith is simply the best. Her dedication and commitment to results are phenomenal. Really great teaching style and enthusiasm- she is a blessing for every kid in Sugar Hill Elementary. Thank you Ms Smith..

Kathy Gentry Posted 3 months ago

Carmen and I worked together as teachers at Sugar Hill Elementary School for several years. I was in her classroom at least once a week with my students with autism which were included in her math classes. Carmen worked extremely well with my students. She was very patient with my students. Carmen was able to make it fun and interesting for all students. She challenged the gifted students as well as meeting the needs of those who struggled academically. Carmen had excellent control of the class. I taught for 29 years and enjoyed attending her class with my special needs students myself. Carmen balances her teaching with an active family life as well as her involvement in her local community and church activities. She continually updates her own educational experiences by teaching staff development, taking classes, etc. Carmen has been a life changer to many students, their families, colleagues, family, and friends. This organization would be lucky to have Carmen represent and be the face of LifeChanger.

Sandy Lykins Posted 3 months ago

I have had the honor of being friends with Carmen since college. She has always been a kind and caring person who always looked out for others. Seeing her love for her students and her passion for teaching is a gift. Carmen is the teacher a student will always remember because she cares so deeply for her students and wants them to learn and succeed. She truly is one in a million and deserves any and all recognition she receives.

Laurie Klebosky Posted 3 months ago

My daughter Belle has been so lucky to have Ms. Smith for 2 years now. We were so worried that keeping her virtual this year would affect her math placement and were overjoyed when we learned that she would stay in Ms. Smith's class. Math is Belle's favorite subject, and I believe it is all due to her wonderful teacher. She loves her! I sincerely hope that she gets to enjoy Ms. Smith's class for the next 2 years as well.

Amanda Bolton Posted 3 months ago

Mrs Smith is a household name in our home! Both of my boys have had her for Gifted Math over the course of five years and they love the energy, enthusiasm, and curiosity she brings into the classroom. She takes a genuine interest in each of her students and rallies around their success not only for learning but becoming a whole human being. We believe she is the perfect candidate (and winner!) for Life Changer of the Year award because is a true champion for students and education. Good luck, Mrs Smith! You are the very best!

Shalanna Rador Posted 3 months ago

I’m so grateful for Ms. Smith because my daughter loves her class and is not afraid of math. This is the second year my daughter is in her class and Ms. Smith makes it enjoyable and easy to follow. My daughter never feels flustered or pressured because Ms. Smith tells her everyone works at their own pace.

Melody Posted 3 months ago

Mrs. Smith is supportive and kind while challenging her students to excel. She is truly the best of the best!

Cappy McMurtray Posted 3 months ago

As a former high school math teacher, I have watched Ms. Smith's journey over many years. She has done an amazing job encouraging math success with her students. She has been such an asset to mathematics. It would be wonderful to have her efforts rewarded.

Kim Busby Posted 3 months ago

I have worked with Carmen Smith for over 12 years and have always been impressed with her ability to connect with her students. I have had the opportunity to substitute in her classroom over the years and I have always been amazed at the grasp her students have of the concepts they have learned from Carmen. She sets a wonderful example not only for her students, but also for her coworkers

Cassie McGill Posted 3 months ago

Proud to vote for you, Carmen! As a teacher of 23 years, I can easily recognized good one... and you are stellar! Hugs! xo