Grandparents make the best teachers. They have supreme wisdom, unrivaled patience, and a certain je ne sais quoi that reaches youth more profoundly than regular adults can. Fitting to this notion, the late Carol Doniere was honored with a UNC Greensboro Inspirational Educators Award, which was twofold: It celebrated her nearly 40 years in elementary education and the life lessons and values she passed down to her nominator her granddaughter, Amber Doniere '17.
Amber graduated UNCG magna cum laude with a bachelor's degree in elementary education (K-6), and she is currently a first-grade instructor at Riverdale Country School in the Bronx, New York. Reminiscing on baking Easter Bunny cakes with her grandmother, Amber recalled how precious moments she and Carol shared attracted her to teaching.
"I would squirm with anticipation as she would methodically lay out the materials and the game plan for how this beloved cake would be made," said Amber. "I would also squirm a little trying to understand the mathematical side of things. Why could I use 1/4 cup if the recipe called for 1/2 cup? Why did I need two different things to measure liquids and solids? And why was there a conversion chart, like the one I'd seen in school, hanging the kitchen?"
Carol's method of explaining these queries sparked Amber's interests in learning and modeled to her what it meant to teach. Taking this foundation to UNCG, Amber graduated as a well-equipped and passionate instructor seeking to become a positive influence on others.
With her donation, Amber pays homage to her grandmother, but she also hopes to highlight the field that bonded them. Acknowledging why she feels the Inspirational Educators initiative is imperative, Amber stated, "It is quite evident that our society devalues education as a profession. I believe that recognizing teachers for the work they do in an authentic and meaningful way is long overdue. We too are part of society, and our actions, or lack thereof, show how we view educators and education within our communities. Initiatives such as these show that we appreciate teachers and the honorable work that they do."