It All Adds Up: Math Teacher Adrienne Carter’s Path to North Atlanta 


Sydney Braxton

Excellence In Action: With high praise directed toward a dedicated teacher, students say math instructor Adrienne Carter takes a difficult topic and makes it both understandable – and even fun.

Kind Heart; Strong Mind: Pictured above is our very own Adrienne Carter, who is one of many exceptional math teachers at North Atlanta. Not only is Carter amazing at what she does but she also always displays a warm heart – even as she shares her tremendous knowledge of her sometimes challenging content area. (Math, after all, can be a struggle for some of us!) 

Starting at a young age, Carter has always been a strong supporter of math and sciences. Due to her father being a civil engineer, Carter has always been drawn to math and engineering. Despite these being harder subjects Carter was never afraid to face a challenge. Math is a subject that she never believed she is naturally good at, however she consistently worked at it to get better. “Math is still something I continue to work at to have a deeper understanding,” she said. “I think I understand more about it now as a teacher rather than a student.”

Although Carter has an amazing talent at guiding teenagers through the tough nature of her given subject, being a teacher was not her first goal. Following in the footsteps of her father, Carter had her sights set on being an engineer, as well. She started her college career – and achieved the noteworthy accomplishment of gaining acceptance to – Georgia Tech, where she, during her earliest undergraduate years, pursued an engineering degree. However, it was at Tech where Carter realized that her desire for engineering perhaps was not her truest path. After the decision to switch academic tracks, Carter spent her other half of undergraduate collegiate years at Georgia State University, where she pursued a degree in secondary mathematics education. After completing her bachelor’s degree, she then went on to obtain a master’s degree in education from Kennesaw State University. “I didn’t consider being anything besides an engineer but when I got to Tech it just wasn’t for me,” Carter said. “I started saying to myself, ‘When I finish this engineering degree I’ll become a math teacher.’ And, of course, then I realized, that’s what I was really supposed to do.”

She first started teaching math at McNair High School in Dekalb County Schools where she taught from 1987 to 1992. For Carter, McNair was a great experience due to so many different aspects. During her final year of college she worked as a paraprofessional so it was an easy transition. Due to the school being located in the community she grew up in, she was connected with an array of different families, including her three younger brothers and their friends who attended the school as well. She even had great memories of funny moments like her younger brother’s friends accidentally calling her by her first name.

After her first year she joined the student council sponsor which added a bit more to her plate. The students she got to work with were awesome and overall it was an amazing experience due to the leadership, teachers, students, and the caring and supportive community. After her three children graduated from Grayson High School, where she taught as well, she left there and began working for North Atlanta in 2017. Carter and her husband decided to move to the city and were excited for the opportunity to teach here at North Atlanta where she has now been teaching for five years. 

As a teacher at North Atlanta, Carter specifically teaches Algebra II. Her students say she is an unfailingly supportive teacher who can make the complex subject of math easy to understand – and even fun. “Ms. Carter is so nice. I love her so much and I have learned more from her in a day than other teachers in a month,” said sophomore Kate Waren. “She is so iconic and cool and gave us hot chocolate during Christmas. She explains things very well in detail and makes sure kids understand things before she moves on.” 

In her work, Carter is one the biggest advocates for supporting teenagers. While teaching can be challenging, being able to have great relationships with her students is the major spark that keeps her going in this profession. Initially Carter’s goal was to have everyone love math, but like any teacher she realized that sometimes she was working against students’ self-imposed phobias and aversions against the subject. A major goal of hers is to help students shift their attitudes toward the sometimes pesky subject. A constant theme of hers is to get across the following to all those in her classes: Everyone can be good at math. “I don’t believe that you’re born with a math brain,” she said. “Your brain is what it is, and with the right teaching, work ethic, grit, and no fear of mistakes you can get good at it,” she said.

While Carter is an extraordinary teacher she still has many more challenges to take on. She is now 27 years into a successful teaching career. After Carter retires, she doesn’t plan on slowing down in any way. This energetic educator said she has many more journeys and activities to pursue. “I plan on retiring in about two years as I still have dreams that I want to accomplish,” she said

No matter what daring tasks Carter plans on taking in the near future, her kind heart, positive attitude, and determination is something that her students and fellow work staff will always admire here at North Atlanta. With Adrienne Adrienne Carter, a love for students and a love for math always adds up.