Blacksburg Virginia Teacher of the Year sets her students up for success after high school

A trades teacher in Blacksburg has won the Regional Virginia Teacher of the Year

BLACKSBURG, Va. – Candace Carrier has been teaching for over 20 years, and this year, she is the Region 6 Virginia Teacher of the Year.

“Having time to reflect, it has been a really surreal experience,” said Carrier. “As teachers, we don’t show up to work every day thinking, ‘Today is going to be the day I win a really awesome prize.’”

But on April 18, she was surprised at the school with her award.

“It’s really humbling,” Carrier said.

Carrier is the welding and small engines teacher at Blacksburg High School.

In her classes, she teaches kids the foundation of what could be future careers.

“I really enjoy being a place that is home for all kids,” said Carrier. “[In the] welding classes, I get a mix of both. Kids who want to leave high school and go weld on the pipeline, and kids who want to leave high school and go do engineering at Virginia Tech.”

She also said these classes take what they are learning in the classroom, and apply it to real-world scenarios.

“These kids are learning geometry upstairs, they come down here, we talk about fabricating, and we put the geometry to work,” Carrier said.

I talked to a student in the Intro to Welding class, and he said these classes are what he loves about school.

“Using my hands for 80 minutes straight of the class period, I just think that’s just a dream of my mine,” said Luke Prevette, a sophomore at Blacksburg High School. “ I mean I wake up every day, getting ready to work.”

He said Carrier is a big reason the class is so enjoyable.

“Her wittiness, she’s just so fun, she makes this class really enjoyable,” Prevette said.

For Carrier, she said the process will stay the same as this year ends, and the next year begins.

“Every year the goal is: do what is best for kids,” Carrier said.

About the Author

Thomas grew up right here in Roanoke and is a graduate of Salem High School and Virginia Tech.

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