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Five Questions with Science Hill Youth Ambassador leader

Brandon Paykamian • Aug 9, 2019 at 5:41 PM

Charles Carter is a longtime Spanish teacher at Science Hill High School who oversees the Youth Ambassadors Program, which has welcomed students from Latin American countries to Science Hill since 2004.

Carter, a veteran teacher in the district since 1981, recently exchanged emails with the Johnson City Press to tell us more about himself, his interests and his work with Johnson City Schools.

Carter Briefly:

Hobbies: “I collect numerous things like art, nativity scenes, stamps, coins and books.”

Favorite TV show: “‘Big Bang Theory,’ when it was on.”

Dogs or cats: “Definitely a dog person.”

Favorite food: “I frequent the Mexican and Italian restaurants most.”

What led you to work at Johnson City Schools?

I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but my family and I left the United States when I was a year old to go to Costa Rica, where my parents attended language school for almost a year. We then traveled to Chile before I turned 3 and lived in Santiago until I graduated from high school.

As a senior at ETSU, I added concentrations in education and Spanish. I taught Spanish at Gate City High School from December of 1975 to June 1981. That is when I took the Spanish teacher and soccer coach position at Science Hill. The first year, I taught three Spanish classes and two English classes. The program and school have grown immensely since that time, as we now have six Spanish teachers and multiple other foreign language options.

Johnson City was my mother’s hometown, my grandmother lived here and ETSU had a good art department.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

I really enjoy interacting with the students and sharing with them the language, history and culture of Spain and Latin America.

What qualities should an educator have?

A good teacher needs to be committed to their job and really like what he/she is doing. One must be flexible and willing to try new things and have the student’s well-being first and foremost.

What do you think are the biggest challenges facing schools now?

Some of the challenges I have faced include incorporation technology into our daily lessons. Other issues that I notice is the trouble keeping good teachers and the increasing lack of parental involvement during their student’s time in school.

What do you hope to be doing after working in education?

When I retire, I expect to do more art, reading and traveling.

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