High School Teacher
Cathedral City High School
Palm Springs Unfied School District
Carrie Carnes is a teacher who truly goes the extra mile. Each year she travels with her sophomore students and their parents to eight universities from southern to northern California. As the school's Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) coordinator, she pushes pupils out of their comfort zones and into top-achieving status. And she does it all with equal measures of gusto and humility.
Carnes conducts assessments at the beginning, middle and end of the year, tailoring math lessons to help in weak areas. She promotes critical thinking by encouraging students to solve equations using multiple methods. While she underscores the importance of arithmetic, Carnes also helps develop character and confidence in addition to math skills.
Her students increased their California Standards Test (CST) scaled scores an average of 20 SS points over the previous years. When comparing CST scores for math for the '09–'10 and '10–'11 school years, test takers achieved a 34-point gain. In a school-specific study, students barely passed an exam administered at the start of the year. By year-end, 100 percent not only passed, but also scored proficient.
Beyond the classroom, Carnes trains teachers for AVID and works with them to solve issues and problems for various grade levels. She presents on AVID at the county level, attends state-level conferences, and devotes time to mentoring new and tenured teachers.