Virginia Tech will recognize Carmen Sanders as Educator of the Year during the Influential Black Alumni Awards ceremony on April 13. This year’s ceremony is held on the first day of Virginia Tech’s Black Alumni Reunion, which takes place every two years.

With more than a decade as a teacher and administrator, Sanders (English ’06) is living out her calling.

As academic principal for about 1,400 students at George Washington Middle School in Alexandria, Virginia, she helps to shape classroom instruction, mentor teachers, and analyze school data.

Before this role, she was dean of students at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria City Public Schools, and she taught English and student government/leadership skills for Prince George’s County Public Schools.

When Sanders studied for her degree in English, she focused on language, literature, and composition. She always planned to become a teacher.

“The thing that inspires me the most, and helps me get out of bed in the morning, is the opportunity to be impactful to the next generation of students and families,” said Sanders, who also has a master’s degree in educational administration from Trinity Washington University.

She enjoys the challenge of working with children of all backgrounds and ability levels, and she hopes to continue to move up in her educational administrative roles over time.

“We still have to meet them [students] exactly where they are and take them to the next level, teaching them how to be good productive citizens in society, teaching them empathy, and kindness, and respect,” Sanders said. “It’s about educating the whole child.”

The Influential Black Alumni Awards ceremony will be held at 8 p.m. in Squires Student Center’s Colonial Hall. Sanders will be one of seven alumni recognized.

Written by Jenny Kincaid Boone