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Siblings win ‘Teacher of the Year’

6/24/2016, 9:11 a.m.
As teachers for Richmond Public Schools, siblings Gilbert Carter Jr. and Ridgely Carter-Minter took different paths to the classroom. Yet, ...
Ridgely Carter-Minter and her brother, Gilbert Carter Jr., were named Teacher of the Year at their respective schools in Richmond. Mrs. Carter-Minter teaches fifth grade at Woodville elementary School, and Mr. Carter is a special education teacher at Boushall Middle School. Photo by Sandra Sellars

Mrs. Carter-Minter decided that teaching would be her calling before she graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in 2002. Inspired by her family and many of her teachers whom she admired, Mrs. Carter-Minter mentored and tutored fellow students at a local library and during summer school while she was a teenager.

After enrolling at Old Dominion University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, she continued to work each summer as a peer tutor for Richmond schools and worked as a substitute teacher on days she did not have classes during the academic year.

Over time, Mrs. Carter-Minter developed an affinity for working with lower-achieving students from the inner-city. She believes that her ability to relate to such students has led to the “small, personal gains” that she sees them develop by the time they leave her classroom.

Woodville Elementary serves children from Creighton Court, Whitcomb Court, Mosby Court and Fairfield Court public housing communities. As a result, many of the students experience situations at home that lead them to lash out at others or to display inappropriate behavior, she said.

“It’s important to listen to them and let them explain what’s going on and to talk to their parents,” said Mrs. Carter-Minter. “Once you do so, then you begin to understand their actions.”

Mr. Carter, who teaches algebra to students ages 13 to 15, agrees.

“There is satisfaction and joy in seeing them grow from September until now,” he said. “I enjoy building relationships with them and giving them what they need individually because they are not all the same.”