July 21, 2014 - July 28, 2014
Ever since she was a little girl, Deborah Carter dreamed of one day teaching others.
“When I was in elementary school, a teacher asked me what did I want to be when I grew up,” recalled Carter, chairperson and instructor in Coahoma Community College’s business department.
She asked if I wanted to be a secretary. I told her, ‘No. I would love to try to teach those classes.’ I remember that. …I was in the 4th grade.”
That dream stuck with Carter, and she was later inspired by her high school teachers to narrow that focus down to business.
“I looked up to my instructors that taught business courses during high school. I decided then that I wanted to be a business teacher. It was something that has always been an interest of mine,” she said.
Carter is a proud graduate of Coahoma Agricultural High School and went on to receive a bachelor’s degree in business accounting from Alcorn State University and a master’s degree in Business Administration from Delta State University.
After college, Carter worked her way up the ladder as an accountant, securing a very rewarding salary. However, she decided to leave it all behind to pursue her dream of helping others. Carter joined CCC’s faculty in Jan. 1998, and was promoted to department chair in 2000.
She said she enjoys working at CCC, and is especially grateful for the support she’s received from her mentors, which include Rita Hanfor, Jerone Shaw and the late Beatta Stewart.
“I’ve seen the college grow. When I’ve started we had a little over 1,000 students to as many as 3,000,” Carter said.
“I’ve also seen the infrastructure and the landscape grow and become even more beautiful. I’ve actually witnessed the construction of three new buildings on campus.”
Today, Carter is inspiring her own students to develop into business professionals.
“I’m so proud and I just have so much joy when I see my former students doing well,” Carter said. “Several of them are now working at CCC or have finished up at a 4-year university and are working towards their master’s degree or PH.D. If I had to sum up my experience, it’s been enjoyable and rewarding to see my students grow and become successful members of their communities.”
Carter is known by students for her down-to-earth but no-nonsense approach.
“When I attend meetings they always tell me that my students act like they’re a little bit more mature. That’s because I make sure they act mature. I tell them that they’re not in high school anymore; it’s time to step up,” she said.
Carter has been selected as CCC’s Higher Education Appreciation Day Working For Academic Excellence (HEADWAE) faculty honoree for both 2003 and 2014. It’s an honor that she’s certainly worthy of. Carter is the president of the CCC’s Faculty Association, CCC’s Sam Walton Fellow, and is one of the sophomore class sponsors. She is also a book reviewer for McGraw Hill Publishing and has attended conferences in Tucson, Nashville and Burr Ridge Il. In addition, Carter has served on several accreditation committees for SACS. Her memberships include the North Delta Alumni Association, Delta State University Alumni Association, Damascus Missionary Baptist Church, Iota Delta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, HBCU Business School Deans and Chairs, National Business Education Association, and Teachers of Accounting at Two-Year Colleges (TACTYC).
But despite her many obligations, Carter said she always keeps her main goal in focus.
“I think one thing teachers should never forget is that our students are our customers. How do you treat a customer? You be proactive with you customer from the beginning. We’re here to serve them. It doesn’t matter if they’re trying to get a GED, certificate or associate’s degree—they all should be treated with respect,” she said.