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DifferenceMakers: Carrie Wharff

Tell us about yourself. As a teacher at St John the Evangelist Catholic School in Fenton, I love being part of a faith-based community dedicated to teaching, learning, and living as Jesus did. I have taught kindergarten here at St. John for 7 years, and enjoy every minute! 

I believe in Catholic education because... we have the ability to make a difference each and every day with each and every one of our students!  We can do amazing work to build the kingdom of God here on earth when we work together, Catholic schools lead the way! 

Describe your school. Our school has an amazing staff. We are truly blessed to have a community of educators who believe in each other, and support one another. As colleagues, we support one another with classroom challenges, brainstorm together, and share new learning! We are dedicated to serving each of our students and their families to the highest of our ability. Our school is also blessed to work with amazing students and families. I consider coming to school each day to teach our youngest learners a privilege. Our students are dedicated to learning, come to school eager to share their knowledge, and try their best each and every day. Being a teacher at St. John Fenton is awesome!    

What drew you to teaching at a Catholic school?  I taught in public schools for my first three years in education. I knew that I was making an impact on students’ lives in terms of education, but felt that something was missing. After lots of prayers and discernment, I felt strongly that God was calling me to make a difference in the lives of children with Him at the center. Teaching at a Catholic school allows me to combine my love of teaching with my love of our faith. Sharing God’s love with my students, and helping to guide them along on their faith journey is the reason I teach at a Catholic school.

What is your favorite part about teaching? What are your greatest rewards?  By far, my favorite part of teaching is working with students every day. I love observing students take risks in their learning, and enjoy cheerleading them to success. Sharing in their accomplishments and acknowledging their hard work is a joy for me as a teacher! 

I cannot think of a greater joy than sharing my love of learning with my students. I loved being a student as a young girl, and knew that I wanted to be an educator. I always knew I wanted to teach in early childhood as well. There’s a running joke in our family that I still have yet to graduate kindergarten, I hope I never do! 

My greatest reward are those moments when my students’ enthusiasm for learning spills over. When they share something we’ve worked on together with their friends and families, that is truly a great reward! 

In your experience, what do Catholic schools do best? Worshipping alongside each other. I love sharing our faith with my students, and our community. I am a member of our parish, and play violin with our contemporary music group for Sunday evening Mass. I love seeing my students at Mass, and sharing our time to worship together. It’s always fun to come to school on Monday, and have students say, “I saw you at Mass this weekend Ms. Wharff!” 

Christ is the center of all we do, and Mass is the heart of our faith. I cannot think of a more perfect way to spend time with one another.

Weekly school Mass is yet another blessing for our school community. Our kindergartners go to Mass with our 8th grade buddies. It is so amazing to see how attentive, caring, helpful, and thoughtful our 8th graders are with the kindergartners. A true joy to witness each week.