Shondra Carter is the 2012 Mom Congress Delegate for Georgia. Doing whatever she can to help children become productive citizens is her goal in life. In addition to the time she spends volunteering in her children’s schools, Shondra is a youth coordinator at her church, serves on the board of a child-serving non-profit organization (Tomorrow’s Luminaries Foundation) and provides K-12 outreach to area schools via her job at Georgia Tech. Shondra’s goal is to begin her own non-profit, which will help teach children life skills in addition to what they learn in school.
What book is currently on your nightstand? The Bible.
One thing that is going great in education in your state: The fact that the Georgia High School Graduation Test no longer determines high school graduation. In addition to passing the required courses, students must now have a passing grade on their end of course tests.
One thing you wish could be improved in education in your state: I would love to see the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) either done away with completely or for the test not to solely hold as much weight as to whether students can go to the next grade or not.
Your favorite teacher (and why): Mr. William Sheppard who was the principal of the high school I attended my senior year. I had a lot of problems that made me either not go to school or not do my best when I was there. However, Mr. Sheppard apparently saw something in me that I didn’t and he encouraged and motivated me to not give up. He appointed several of his teachers to work with me afterschool each day on assignments so that I could graduate on time and walk with my class because he knew what I was actually capable of. At the end of the school year I still thought I was behind and failed some classes but Mr. Sheppard personally called me and told me that I had passed my courses and for me to show up for a graduating senior program that morning. He never gave up on me and he has been my motivation for wanting to always give my best at everything I do, be successful in life and try to give others what he gave to me.
Secret indulgence: Writing poems (mostly about my life experiences).
Favorite quote: “We can not always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
Favorite extracurricular activities when you were in school: Playing football—I was the only girl on our eighth grade team.
Favorite subject in school (and why): French because it was fun and different from taking Spanish, like most of the students did. Also, I’ve always dreamed of visiting Paris (still do) and would love to be able to communicate in French once I make it there.
Most rewarding/challenging stage of parenthood thus far (and why): The most rewarding stage of parenthood is having the ability to be there for my children and be involved with their life and educational experiences. I strongly believe that students do better when they see their parents involved and caring about what they do while encouraging them. The greatest challenge is having enough time to be around as much as I want to. I have a full time job and four children in three different schools, which is a challenge in and of itself with dividing time between schools, having time to spend with each child individually and then them all as a group and fitting my schedule to theirs in regards to the many extracurricular activities my children participate in.
Favorite family activities: Watching/playing Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune and Family Feud with the kids.