AJC Celebrating Teachers honoree: Carrie Beth Rykowski

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is proud to announce its annual community recognition program – the AJC Celebrating Teachers Awards. We believe the very best of the best are worth honoring and giving them the recognition they deserve. This will be a moment of significant pride for the honoree, their family and school.

Carrie Beth Rykowski’s years at her alma mater Georgia Tech have helped her develop innovative programming for the students at Vickery Creek Middle.

Rykowski, who graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in management from Tech, teaches sixth grade science at Vickery Creek. She has also created the elective engineering course, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering Arts and Math).

The highly collaborative STEAM course is rooted in science concepts and branches out to art, robotics and computer science. The inspiration for the course stemmed from her time spent at Georgia Tech during the last four summers as part of the Georgia Intern Fellowships for Teachers (GIFT) program. The GIFT program pairs classroom teachers with engineering mentors to create unique lesson plans for students.

Rykowski has spent six of her nine years as an educator at Vickery Creek, but she extends her science education reach across the county. She serves as Forsyth County school district’s STEM content specialist for the Academies of Creative Education. In that role, she develops online courses, including game design, virtual reality and digital technology courses.

Her work has not gone unnoticed. She received the GIFT Action Plan Achievement Award in 2016 and 2017. She was  also elected as Teacher of the Year in 2015.

Most recently, Carrie Beth received the Presidential Award for Mathematics & Science Teaching, which is the nation’s highest honor for STEM educators.