Walking into his classroom, I feel like I’m home. The air seems warmer, the lights seem brighter, the smell is familiar, all aspects of the room come together to form a feeling of comfort and safety in my heart. Coach Carpenter greets me with a warm smile that says “I’m happy you’re here today”. He gives me a big bear hug and a fist bump. This routine never changes, it happens every morning and if it does not occur I don’t feel the same during the day. Coach Carpenter has been my safety bar on the roller coaster of drama and emotions that is high school. He never wavers. He is passionate about teaching and what he teaches. He cares about his students deeply and constantly voices that he “hopes he gets through to all of us at some point”. I cannot think of someone more perfect to receive the title of “Educator of the Year”.
In retrospect my three years of high school thus far have not been the easiest, but Coach Carpenter has been a solid rock when it seemed like the world around me was crumbling apart. There has not been one single solitary day in which I have ever been bored in his class. One day where I have not been happy to see his goofy smile and hear his loud, booming but kind voice. I learn something new everyday in his presence and what I learn is not always academic-related, but I know it will be applicable to my life at any stage in it. For that is an essential criteria of designating someone “Educator of the Year”. Not just their impact on life in that moment, in that season, but in all seasons of life. Educators of the Year must have a legacy, and must be focused on leaving something behind bigger than themselves. Coach Carpenter emphasizes legacy in his classroom, in his coaching, and in his life. He wants to live every day to the fullest and touch every life he can. He has a desire to teach people about life, and life lessons, and equip his students that can make their lives better. He deserves this more than anyone, ask any of the students from his thirteen years teaching here, or anyone from his youth group he pastored in Miami, or anyone of his childhood friends from California. Coach Carpenter is the Educator of the Year because his reach goes beyond the classroom and lasts for generations.