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Teachers are Heroes: Carrie Nichols 'is the type of teacher every parent dreams of having'

Published Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Carrie Nichols

Mrs. Carrie Nichols


When Carrie Nichols played as a child, she gathered stuffed animals and friends and played school. To those close to her, it’s probably no surprise that she’s devoted her life to teaching 1st-graders.

“I wanted to become a teacher my whole life,” she said. “…I don’t know if I decided it or if teaching picked me.”

Mrs. Nichols said her favorite aspect about teaching is when you see the impact you are having on a child - from complex challenges to achievements in independence.

“(It’s) when you see the light in their eyes and the joy on their face, when they understand something that has been challenging or new learning. It can be as simple as finally opening the fruit cup lid independently without spilling on themselves or solving a word problem.”

While Mrs. Nichols is the 2017-18 Teacher of the Year at Cane Bay Elementary School, her proudest moment isn’t memorialized by a trophy in her closet. Instead, it was a request from a parent.

“A parent asked me to keep in touch because she wanted me to be at both her sons’ graduation. Her oldest son I taught my first year as a teacher. Then, I taught her youngest son two years later,” she said.

Cane Bay Elementary School principal Melissa LaBerge describes Mrs. Nichols as compassionate and patient.

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 “Mrs. Nichols is the type of teacher every parent dreams of having for their child,” Mrs. LaBerge said. “…Mrs. Nichols strives to meet the unique needs of each student in her class and never gives up on the dream to make learning happen at the highest level for all students.”

Mrs. Nichols is inspired by students and colleagues. She said they always motivate her to be a better person and a greater teacher. She believes the area where she will continue to have the greatest impact (for the foreseeable future) as a hero educator is in the classroom. There’s no better place to have a direct impact on students.

“Hearing about the success of my former students is my biggest success story,” she said.

Mrs. Nichols is a graduate of College of Charleston where she obtained a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s in early childhood education.

“I pursued my undergraduate degree in psychology hoping to help children in a different setting. Instead, I continued my education in my master’s program to become a teacher, what I always wanted to be,” she said.