Carrie Larson Joins Valley Leadership
Carrie has always been passionate about education, and after graduating college, she volunteered in the public health space and then went on to teach for Teach For America in the Roosevelt School District. Since then, she has worked with fellow educators to found Phoenix Collegiate Academy as well as work in school improvement and design and has been recognized for her innovative and perceptive support to schools and students alike.
Outside of work, Carrie enjoys spending time with her partner and four young boys exploring Arizona’s natural beauty and enjoying life in the South Phoenix Community.
VL: Can you tell the Valley Leadership community a little about yourself?
CL: I come from a family of educators, including a grandmother who taught in a one room school house. After college I volunteered in Haiti at a foundation that worked on public health before teaching in the Roosevelt School District with Teach For America. I was on the founding team of Phoenix Collegiate Academy (PCA) with 2 fellow South Phoenix teachers, Rachel Yanof and Akshai Patel. At PCA I was the charter school Teacher of the Year and later part of a team that was recognized as Charter School of the Year. We grew to 3 campuses, and as Chief Academic Officer, I helped support our principals, launch a PreK, and was part of a team that orchestrated a merger with ASU that turned PCA into an ASU Prep Campus. Since joining ASU Prep, I have worked on school improvement and design, and was until last year the Superintendent of brick and mortar sites. I spend my time away from work enjoying life in Arizona with my partner and 4 young boys.
VL: What is a goal you hope to accomplish through your role as the Catalyze Program Manager at VL?
CL: My goal is to support Catalyze participants to internalize our leadership philosophy and reflect on their personal stories and goals, as we all work together to leverage our strengths to activate, adjust or refine our doing for Arizona.
VL: What pressing issue in Arizona are you most excited to address?
CL: Since 2005, Educational equity in Arizona has been my commitment to doing for Arizona, but as I learn and grow in my work with the Catalyze team, I am excited to find ways to recommit to Arizona through Neighborhoods and Community and Child Well Being.
VL: What Principle of Doing do you resonate with most right now?
CL: Right now, I feel most connected to Building Trust. As a new member of the Catalyze team, I am looking forward to learning from others’ points of view and experiences and working to build a space of mutual respect and productive conversation within our community.
VL: What do you love most about living, working, and playing in Arizona?
CL: Summer is not always the ideal time for a question about the benefits of Arizona, but I do love so, so many things about Arizona. My undergraduate degree was in Geology and I initially fell in love with Arizona as the state that holds amazing natural beauty within its borders; the Grand Canyon, forests of Saguaro cacti, and a piece of the Colorado plateau to name just a few. Since then, the people of Arizona, and the South Phoenix community have convinced me to stay, raise my family here, and call Arizona my home.