Position: Pre-K Disabilities Teacher
School: New York Avenue School
School District: Somers Point Schools
City, State: Somers Point, New Jersey
About the Nominee: Alyson Carroll was nominated by her principal, Kim Tucker. As the preschool handicapped teacher at New York Avenue School, Ms. Carroll's intelligence, diligence and honesty are impressive! In the three years that Ms. Tucker has served as principal of the school, Ms. Carroll has left a strong impression. She is incredibly dedicated to the growth and achievement of her students. She provides her students with a solid foundation for their next school experience in Kindergarten, whether that will happen in special education or general education. In addition, her ability as a leader has brought praise from her colleagues. She completes all tasks efficiently and effectively. She also exhibits characteristics that make her a role model for others, such as independence and confidence. These characteristics have helped her to be a successful teacher and peer coach.
Ms. Carroll has a great deal of challenges in her classroom. She faces each challenge with determination and passion. Her knowledge of communication and behavior strategies benefits the whole school and extends to the district level.
In addition to having served as a peer coach, Ms. Carroll serves on the school ScIP team, the school safety team and the district’s early childhood committee. Her leadership in these areas helps to extend her expertise to others in the school and district. She represented the New York Avenue School in 2015 as the Governor’s Teacher of the Year and as a New Jersey Exemplary Elementary Educator in 2016.
Ms. Carroll teaches students with a variety of diagnoses, including autism and communication impairments. She works diligently to address the areas that impact her students’ potential for success both in and out of school. She focuses on social skills, communication skills and restricted patterns of interests or behaviors. Ms. Carroll is able to pull from a vast number of strategies and treatments in her tool bag and works closely with related services personnel, such as speech and occupational therapists, physical therapists and behavior consultants. She meets the diverse range of learning needs in her classroom with the goal of always preparing students for the least restrictive environment in their next educational setting.
On a daily basis, she makes decisions regarding the types of interventions to implement in the classroom based on her experience, research, and trial and error. Her students improve their social skills, communication skills and behavior during their time with Ms. Carroll. Whether she uses a Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), communication board, sign or speech, her students improve their communication skills by the end of the school year. Her positive behavior supports serve to improve student behaviors. In addition, she makes sure that her students are included in all aspects of the school and interact with their general education peers. As a result, it is easy to observe the growing social skills of her students.
Ms. Carroll is not only a strong teacher, but a strong LifeChanger in her community!