4 Questions for Ms. Sartori, Carroll’s Longest Serving Teacher

A pioneer in education, she earned her B.A. in Social Studies and Religious Studies from the University of Virginia, graduating with the first class of undergraduate women in 1974. She is also a pioneer at this school, having arrived to teach here in 1989 when her former school merged with Carroll.

Q: What do you think former students remember most about your classes?

A: I think when students graduate from here and go to college, they think back to some of the things I said to them and they have an “Aha” moment. It’s a moment when they realize, I do need to have good study skills…. I do need to think critically when taking a test…. I do need to know how to write well in college. I think most students appreciate what I’ve taught them after they’ve left Carroll.

Q:  Several of our teachers are Carroll alumni whom you taught when they were students here. What is it like to work alongside colleagues that are your former students? 

A:  It’s exciting! It’s an honor and a privilege. I kind of say to myself, "Wow!" As a student, Ian Smith was enthusiastic, fun and funny. Melanie Powell was sweet and hard working. And I see the same qualities in them now as my colleagues.

Q:  After so many years in the classroom, does anything rattle you anymore?

A:  One of the things I still struggle with is classroom management. It worries me and I keep trying different things. I’ve been told that the students know I’m soft-hearted. I have cough drops, tissues and Band-Aids in my desk drawer. Kids that I don’t even teach come in for these things all the time. I love them all the same. Sometimes I feel like the school mom. It’s a privilege, but at the same time, I know it makes classroom management difficult.
Q:  What keeps you teaching year after year?

A:  I love teaching. Interacting with the students one-on-one or in small groups is what I love most. I think it’s super important for me to listen to the students because every kid is unique. When I first started teaching, the nuns at the school where I worked would always say, "if you’re going to be a good teacher, the first thing you have to do is love them." And that’s what I try to do!