ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — For nearly two decades, Carah Taylor has been inspiring students and staff at Rochester School for the Deaf, on and off the gym court.
Carah is a physical education teacher for PreK-12 grade students. Her colleagues say there is nothing she wouldn’t do for her students. Because of Carah’s dedication and leadership, News 8 presented her with a Golden Apple Award.
“It’s a huge honor. Thank you, thank you so much. Wow, I am speechless,” Carah said after being presented the award on Monday.
Her colleagues say she is very deserving of the recognition. Susan Ogden, the school’s principal, says she’s been working at RSD for 17 years and is a “huge team player.”
“She really specializes in adaptive PE classes and also teaches regular classes during the summer in reading and writing and really supports all of her students. We really consider how to approach our students best and use their greatest strengths,” Ogden said. “She deserves this title, she is a role model, always motivated and very optimistic and is a fun person to be around.”
Carah’s colleague, Scott Lipitz, nominated her for the award. The two have been working together for 15 years. Scott called it an “honor and privilege” to work with Carah.
“That’s my small way of really trying to thank her so much for what she has given me over the years,” Scott said.
Scott said Carah is someone who always put her students needs about her own, is a great role model for students, and has played a huge part in getting a $90,000 grant for new PE equipment for their school.
“Carah really rolled up her sleeves and had a lot of ideas, brought me on board and many other teachers as well, some who had retired, and we did a lot of work,” Scott said. “We finally won over $90,000 for assistive technology here. As you can see the wall behind me, fancy different cycling equipment, lots of different exercise equipment as well. It helps us to bring the quality of our programing that much higher.”
In his nomination submission, Scott also said Carah “continually looks to improve by attending professional workshops and conferences adding developmentally and instructionally appropriate ideas/activities to our current curriculum. She is not only an outstanding teacher, but an excellent DEAF role model for our students. She is the epitome of what a Physical Education should be.”
Carah was honored to receive the award and said it’s her colleagues that make her job so great.
“I have wonderful colleagues working here. We are so collaborative and work together at RSD and it’s a wonderful environment for us. We work so well as a team and sometimes we’re working really hard to make sure our students are having fun and achieving their goals and I feel like we can really make that happen here,” she said.
Carah also said she loves her job because of her students and getting to see all the fun everyone has.
“I want kids to feel like they are on the same level as me, whether they’re young and frail, or old and heading off to college, they really deserve that time to play at whatever level they are,” Carah said.
Antony McLetchie, the Superintendent and CEO of RSD, said he is proud of Carah, but he isn’t surprised she won the award. He said she makes all students believe “they can.”
“It’s her commitment to making sure that every child and every individual in her class is successful. It doesn’t matter what struggles they have, additional disabilities, whether they are deaf or hard of hearing, she believes they are able to succeed as much as they are able to,” Antony said.
Congratulations to Carah for winning a Golden Apple Award!
If you would like to nominate a teacher for a Golden Apple Award, you can find our nomination forms here.