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Charlotte Smith: A ray of sunshine

Charlotte Smith, a teacher assistant at Quail Hollow Middle School, loves being able to work in a classroom setting to help students achieve their academic goals. Through a practicum at Spartanburg Technical College, she worked with the deaf and blind population. It was there she developed a desire to work with children in schools. “I love being able to develop close relationships with the students and teachers I work with,” said Smith. 

Smith has been a teacher assistant with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools for 15 years. Smith is currently the Teacher Assistant of the Year finalist for the Southwest Learning Community. “It’s an honor and a privilege to be able to represent my school in this way,” she said. Quail Hollow Middle Principal Rachael Neill said Smith is “notorious for bringing sunshine wherever she goes. She is always smiling and optimistic,” she said. 

During the pandemic, Neill said Smith took the initiative to do whatever was needed to support students. She taught classes during Camp CMS when the school was short staffed, she took over serving as the staff advisor for Right Moves for Youth when their previous advisor left, and she recently started leading classes daily to fill a staff vacancy to ensure students have consistent instruction.

“While she could choose to simply ‘substitute,’ Ms. Smith does everything she can to internalize lessons and teach content to students,” said Neill. “Her favorite expression is ‘teamwork makes the dream work,’ and she exemplifies this meaning.” Smith said an “aha” moment in her teaching career was when she worked as a one-on-one assistant to a special needs student who was struggling with reading comprehension. It was during that time she realized that their close bond helped the student achieve great growth in reading comprehension. 

Smith said she enjoys what she does. “This recognition means a lot to me,” said Smith. “I’m so happy to know that others value the contributions I try to make every day.” 



 


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