CI Heroes: Ms. Carter

Early Childhood Special Education Teacher Celebrates the Small Steps

Creve Coeur - If you think back, you can probably remember your most favorite teacher. One central Illinois student is crediting his favorite teacher, with also saving his life.


“If you ask people around here, they'd say I get excited about the littlest things,” explains Ms. Susie Carter.


Ms. Carter is the Early Childhood Special Education teacher for LaSalle Elementary School in Creve Coeur.

Her entire life is celebrating the little joys of her students.

They add up to where she hopes her students will eventually become.


“When children come into the program, I see them for who they can be, not their challenge. It doesn’t define them to me,” explains Carter.


Because of her student's challenges, Carter, as they call her, has to teach schedules, and the basics like brushing teeth and getting dressed.


“Those little successes, of course, big ones are great too, don’t' get me wrong. But you have to look at things in little steps, and if you can live that way, if you can be happy with little steps, what better job can you have,” asks Carter.


That's the basis for her whole teaching philosophy, a plan that helps her students, for their entire life.


“She was probably my most favorite teacher...She taught me a lot of things. I couldn’t probably talk or anything if it wasn't for her,” explains Jared Hinton, a former student of Carter’s.


Jared Hinton was in Ms. Carter's class as a pre-school, most days were a battle.


“With Jared, it was small steps, just getting him to come to the school building. Getting him to come into the classroom, this was all new,” explains Carter.


Now, Jared’s a freshman in high school, working on his eagle scout, and excelling in his classes.

He says he’s in a place he says he, and a lot of other students, wouldn't be without this hero.


Carter has been teaching for nearly 30 years.


We're proud she's making such a difference in central Illinois.



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