By Maya Pottiger
Over the last 15 years, Carrie Deaver has seen many changes at Pasadena Elementary School.
As the physical education teacher, Deaver has constantly learned and adapted as the state changes the curriculums and objectives of her field.
“We want everyone to feel comfortable,” Deaver said. “We want everyone to participate so they take those happy memories from playing athletic things or physical things outside of here.”
This year, Deaver is one of the 10 semifinalists for the Anne Arundel County Public Schools Teacher of the Year award. This is her second time being nominated, but she did not make it to the semifinal round in 2012. In 2007, Deaver received the Northern Anne Arundel Chamber of Commerce Award. In addition, Deaver earned her National Board Certification in 2013.
“Mrs. Deaver is a National Board-Certified Teacher who is dedicated and committed to her students, colleagues and school community,” said Jennifer Quirino, principal of Pasadena Elementary. “She stresses the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle and encourages her students and colleagues to be active and make healthier choices.”
Deaver has spent her entire 15-year career at Pasadena Elementary. Though she initially set out to teach at a high school and coach, Deaver fell in love with teaching elementary school students.
At the elementary level, Deaver is focused on making sure her students are exposed to as many different opportunities as possible.
“I explain to them, ‘It doesn’t matter if you love it. You have to try it. Elementary school is about trying everything, and then you can choose,’” Deaver said. “I try to get them to participate, even though it’s not their favorite thing. I think experiences are the biggest part of what we do here.”
Deaver’s lessons teach students the main fitness components. Then, by fourth and fifth grade, Deaver said students are able to create their own fitness programs.
“The biggest thing for me is there are a couple fifth-graders in this class that, when they were in kindergarten, they didn’t want to participate and were not outgoing and didn’t want to try things,” Deaver said. “Now, over the last six years, they’re doing everything. They’re coming out of their shells.”
In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Deaver coordinates a wellness fair, holds a running club that trains for a 5k fun run, and leads a dance company for second- and third-graders. Outside of school, Deaver is a National Board facilitator, meaning she guides other teachers working toward their National Board Certification.
“I was really excited to be nominated,” Deaver said. “The cool part is our staff votes on it. That was very touching.”
All of the semifinalists will be honored at the Excellence in Education Awards dinner on April 25.