Maria del Mar Carter

Maria del Mar Carter '76, '78
2006 Distinguished Alumna in Education

When most high school graduates decide to go to college, location plays a big part. Some move to different states while others stay close to home. Maria del Mar Carter decided to move 2,509 miles away to earn her education. Upon earning her high school diploma in 1970, from the International School of Nido de Aguilas College preparatory program in Santiago , Chile , Mar Carter decided to attend East Tennessee State University.

Born in Quito , Ecuador , Mar Carter knew very early that teaching was something she longed to do. She attended ETSU with one goal, earning her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. After obtaining her United States citizenship she also achieved her Bachelor of Science degree in Education in 1976. In 1978, Mar Carter received her Master in Education with a concentration in Early Childhood from ETSU.

While obtaining her master's, Mar Carter worked as a graduate assistant Kindergarten teacher in which she planned, taught and evaluated children ages four and five. After that, she would spend the next 23 years working in the Elizabethton City School System as the Lead Teacher in the Early Childhood Title I Program.

In 1995, Mar Carter was the co-director of the after-school program for Harold McCormick Elementary in the Elizabethton School System. In 1999, she served as an adjunct professor at Northeast State Technical Community College and also served as an adjunct faculty member of Milligan College.

Currently, Mar Carter is a Spanish Teacher at Robinson Middle School in Kingsport , Tenn. Mar Carter assesses students' progress and communicates with parents in the form of parent-teacher conferences. Mar Carter has dedicated her life to early childhood development and has been honored for her efforts. In 1995, she won the Milken Family Foundation Award. She was named WJHL-TV's "People

Who Make a Difference" Award, "Honorary Mayor" of the City of Elizabethton , ETSU Alumni Return to the Classroom participant, and Harold McCormick Soil Conservation "Teacher of the Year" Mar Carter was a finalist for "Tennessee Teacher of the Year" and won Region I Teacher of the Year in 1992. In that same year, she also was named Elizabethton City School System "Teacher of the Year."

In addition to all of her awards, Mar Carter stays busy with her professional associations and memberships. She is a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, Tennessee Association of Young Children, Southern Early Childhood Association, Elizabethton Education Association, Kingsport Education Association, Tennessee Education Association and Association for Childhood Education International.

When Mar Carter is not teaching, she enjoys traveling. She has traveled to 44 U.S. states as well as Argentina , Mexico , Spain , Canada , Chile and back home to Ecuador . Mar Carter also loves to swim, hike, read, smock, sew and knit, and spend time with her husband, three daughters, her sons-in-law and five grandchildren.