Sharron Carroll specializes in bringing young students up to speed. She's a first grade teacher at Highland Avenue Elementary. "She takes time in our reading program to test or work with children who are below grade level. She works with our B.B.S.T. team. She works with implementing any new program we have in this school," says principal Patricia Kornegay.
More than 80 percent of Highland Avenue students receive free lunches, yet the school tests above the national average on the SAT-9. Part of the key is giving special attention to students who need it. Carroll says, "every Wednesday a folder goes home and the parents have to read with their child. And they have to do a book report; and it has to be some of the parents handwriting and the child's handwriting, it has to be a joint effort in order to complete the task. And they send home a chart and we put little notes and stickers for the parents and they enjoy it."
Carroll also groups students learning to read by their ability. She says that helps her to better address their needs. Her classroom manner is being observed by future teachers. "Basically the students love her. They know that she's strict, but she still cares a lot about her students," says Tamiko Ivey, a student teacher enrolled at Alabama State University.
Carroll is also the facilitator of Highland Avenue's strategic planning team, she trains fellow teachers in reading assessment and supervises college interns.