As executive director at Cornerstone Schools of Alabama, Dr. Nita Carr is playing a critical role in the development of young minds – educating students while also challenging them to live a life devoted to God.
Cornerstone Schools of Alabama provides a Christian education to at-risk and underserved children in Birmingham.
Carr is tasked with turning students into leaders through their rigorous curriculum and uplifting character development. She oversees the operations that transform students into critical thinkers, life-long inquisitive minds and excellent communicators. Cornerstone impacts the community by dismantling worldly mindsets and producing students who are responsible and productive citizens.
In a recent interview, Carr shared with Yellowhammer News that when she was given the opportunity in 2008 to serve as executive director of Cornerstone Schools of Alabama, she knew without a doubt that God was directing her to use her gifts and talents to make a difference – and she has since done just that.
“Serving others is simply a part of who I am. By serving, we have the ability to impact change not only in the present, but in the future,” Carr said. In addition to her day job, she also has been active in volunteer organizations that support education, such as the Kiwanis Club, Convene and the Legacy League.
Her work is empowered by her own childhood experiences.
“Being educated as a young girl about who Christ is, the impact of His sacrificial love, and the importance of building a thriving relationship with Him was the defining moment,” Carr explained of her personal journey. “It created within me a lifetime of wanting to share the gospel with others. God has given me a heart for Kingdom purpose. My goal is to empower students to glorify Him.”
Under Carr’s leadership, Cornerstone became one of the first International Baccalaureate Primary Schools in the state of Alabama. The school incorporates six themes into students’ growth model: Who We Are; Where We Are in Place and Time; How We Express Ourselves; How the World Works; How We Organize Ourselves; and Sharing the Planet.
While Carr continues to find success at Cornerstone through high enrollment numbers, expansions and community partnerships, she finds true satisfaction when her students succeed.
She measures success when students graduate exuding Cornerstone’s five pillars of character: perseverance, love, integrity, respect, responsibility.
“Change is what inspires me. And every day, I am allowed to serve as an agent of change for our next generation,” Carr remarked.
“Our students are tomorrow’s leaders,” she outlined. “The instructor-led knowledge they gain in the classrooms has the ability to create a better tomorrow for themselves, their families, and the community. … They are open minded, caring, balanced and knowledgeable. The negative statistics of the world do not apply to our students. They strive for ‘Excellence for God, Excellence in Education, Excellence for Students, Excellence in Character.’ These are our core values.”
When asked about the most fulfilling part of her job, she advised, “Every day I am afforded the opportunity to take a glimpse into our future. Having the support and ability to shape that future is hands down the most rewarding part of what I do.”
Yellowhammer News is proud to name Dr. Nita Carr a 2020 Woman of Impact.
Editor’s note: Yellowhammer Multimedia recently announced the third annual Women of Impact Awards. Honorees are being featured on Yellowhammer News each weekday through October 1. We will tell their stories one-by-one, utilizing written and video formats. Check back daily for more of Alabama’s best and brightest.
Lenze Morris, a native of Southeast Alabama, is a special contributing writer to Yellowhammer News for the 2020 Women of Impact series