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Warner's Neely named Teacher of the Year for state board District 11



Carla Neely's students used their laptops or Chromebooks to draft a blueprint for a bridge they built. 





Carla Neely, a science teacher at CMSD’s Warner Girls’ Leadership Academy, has been named Teacher of the Year for State Board of Education District 11.

NeelyShe and winners in the state board’s 10 other districts now have a chance to be named Ohio Teacher of the Year. The Ohio Department of Education will announce finalists July 26.

Neely, who teaches in the fifth and sixth grades, works to provide opportunities for African American girls in elementary and middle school grades and has spoken at events that give girls of color increased exposure to computer science.

She said she chose urban education to make a difference and because the students need teachers “who don’t give up on them.” By teaching in elementary and middle school grades, she seeks to help her students build a foundation for success.

“I specifically chose girls because research continuously shows that the percentage of girls in science and STEM is small as compared with boys,” she said. “The percentage of African American girls involved in those subjects and fields is even smaller.”

Neely won a National Science Teachers Association award this year, receiving the Shell Urban Science Educator Development Award, sponsored by the Shell Oil Co. She also has earned the state’s master teacher designation.

She taught in East Cleveland for 16 years before joining CMSD in 2015.

“CMSD is becoming the face for what urban education should look like,” she said. “I wanted to become a part of that journey.”