Frazier teacher voted most A+mazing Teacher of the Month

Published 5:00 am Friday, April 29, 2022

NATCHEZ — “If I can influence at least one child daily, I would be satisfied.”

That is the motto of Frazier Elementary School teacher Cartrell Smith, who was voted most “A+mazing Teacher of the Month” by a pool of online voters. The contest is sponsored by Sabrina Dore’ of Shelter Insurance Agency and The Democrat.

Smith, who was born and raised in Natchez, didn’t choose teaching as his first career option.

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He lost his mother at age 11, he said, adding to this day “I strive to make her and all of my family proud.”

“After my mother’s death, I was raised by my aunt Margie and her husband Clem Moore. In my spare time, I love to shop, travel and sing. I am the Youth Pastor of Antioch & Greater Saint James Baptist, Youth Director of AMB Association, and the founder of Young Warriors Ministry.”

This is Smith’s second year of teaching in the Natchez Adams School District. He teaches third-grade English and Language Arts and Social Studies at Frazier.

“After my second year in college, I realized my passion for children,” he said. “That is when I produced the motto.”

His affection is returned by his students, who often refer to him like he’s a member of their family by calling him “Dad,” “Big Brother” or “Uncle Smith.”

“It feels amazing to know that someone thought enough of me to nominate me as best teacher in the Miss-Lou,” Smith said. “I never look at my colleagues differently. … We all have the same goal. We just have a unique way of expressing it.”

Smith said one of the challenges he faces as a teacher is keeping himself motivated to do his best work.

Putting God first makes it easier, he said.

“I put God first in everything I do. Whenever I am down … I know prayer will always help me overcome fears, trials and hardship,” he said. “What I enjoy the most is to see my students smile daily.”