Celeste Carty's ties to the University of Minnesota go back to one of her first jobs as a lead teacher at the University Child Care Center. Carty also completed her master's degree in early childhood education at the University. She was then recruited to start a pre-Kindergarten program for English language learners in St. Paul.

Celeste Carty, principal Crossroads Elementary

She's now the principal at Crossroads Elementary in St. Paul, which houses both Montessori and Science-focused schools. The schools' curriculum is connected through their emphasis on inquiry-based learning. In the science school, an inquiry zone is set up for experiments, and students learn the scientific method in sequence as they move through grade levels. The Montessori school emphasizes hands-on, project-based learning.

Carty says this requires teachers to be willing to adapt to different teaching styles and come out of their comfort zone.

"This includes recognizing that it's part of your job as a teacher to become culturally relevant," says Carty. "Teachers that are open to conversations about race and the achievement gap, for example, are most successful."

Carty sees a lot of good things happening when the co-teaching model is working for both the teacher and student. She says many teachers hate to see their co-teacher leave, and have developed lasting relationships with them.

Student teachers start in the fall setting up the classroom, participate in conferences, and are a part of everything at the school. They come out really well trained if it has been successful for them," says Carty. "I have had no qualms about the ones we have given high marks to, and have no doubt that they'll be able to walk into any building and do an outstanding job."