Exceptional Education teacher, Paula Carr, is ready for the next chapter in her life
May 29, 2019
Wando exceptional educational teacher Paula Carr is ready to start the next chapter of her life. Carr has been a teacher at Wando for the past three years, but at the end of this school year will be saying goodbye to Wando. Carr will be working at the Embassy Suites, assisting special needs workers who are beginning internships there following high school.
“I got a position in the [Charleston County School] District, which is brand new, for what’s called Project Search. This is an internship that Charleston County is doing in collaboration with Embassy Suites. It’s a yearlong internship for students that are transitioning out of high school into their adult life,” Carr said. “They have to between the ages 18-21. They do a yearlong internship at Embassy Suites, doing different things. Cleaning, laundry, there’s a cafeteria, and a clerical area as well. They do that for a year and after the year they could be offered employment at the hotel.”
Fifteen exceptional students from around the district applied for the internship and 10 were accepted in. Four Wando students applied and they were all accepted.
“I’m very happy to continue working with the same students. Kobe Oree, Nikki DeWitte, John Bloomingburg and Cameron Poplin were all accepted into the program,” Carr said.
Carr will be working with the ten workers helping make the transition into the workforce as smooth as possible.
“I’m going to be going there in the morning and very similar to what I do here in teaching a career readiness class and a career soft skills class. I’ll be teaching a 90-minute lesson, communication, career skills, just any direct instruction I can use for the students. It can range anywhere between personal hygiene to how to operate a vacuum,” Carr said. “We break for lunch and then after lunch the students go to their jobs in the hotel. I’ll be running around the whole place checking in on them and supporting them with the managers in each of those departments.”
This new chapter in her life is going to quite different than teaching at Wando, but Carr is going into it with a positive outlook and she’s looking forward to it.
“It’s definitely a new chapter. My three years here at Wando have been amazing. I have learned so much. I don’t think I would’ve gotten this position if I hadn’t come so far here in the three years I have. This is definitely going to be something new, something where I’m stepping out of the classroom. We don’t have the classroom support, I’m not going to have a student concern [specialist], I’m not going to have a guidance counselor or a mental health counselor I can call for support. That is going to be a challenge with figuring out how to operate and navigate those challenges without those supports built in,” Carr said. “But I think it’s going to be really exciting for the students, there’s only so much I can teach in the classroom of how to have a job, how to interact with coworkers, and that’s going to be a big challenge of it as well. They’re going to have to interact with employees at Embassy Suites, along with doing their jobs as well. I’ve always had a special interest in helping students transition from high school to a career, because again I just find so many students who aren’t transitioning into a career.”
Although Carr is looking forward to her new job, leaving Wando is bittersweet for her.
“The Exceptional Warriors Club is going to be a big thing that I miss. I’ve never seen a community of students that want their campus to be so inclusive and want interactions with their peers and want to connect so much with their peers,” Carr said, “and it’s definitely something I’m going to miss.”