Manatee High School teacher seeks to win grant, cruise after tragedy
MANATEE - As the Band Director at Manatee High School, Kendall Carrier makes music through teaching others, despite the tragedy in his life.
“I lost my son Zac to cystic fibrosis in 2014," Carrier said. "Shortly after that my son Kris was diagnosed with leukemia, and he lost his battle with leukemia in November of last year.”
Instead of letting loss derail his life, he focused on his students.
“It's what my boys wanted me to do," Carrier said. "They thought I had impact on them and impact on the other band kids as well.”
Kendall and his wife Kerrie taught together at their previous school, but it wasn’t until Zac’s battle with cystic fibrosis, that Kendall really found Kerrie.
“She liked Zac a lot," Carrier said, "and was very interested in his life, his fight. She rallied a bunch of parents, and that brought me a lot of relief. Just seeing the way she cared for my son and stuff, that prompted asking her out for a date, falling in love, and getting married.”
Kerrie Carrier says she’s inspired by her husband and found a way to show it, nominating him for a contest called Giving Joy.
“I just thought there’s nobody I know, personally, who continues to have joy and share joy and give joy even in the midst of suffering,” Kerrie said.
The contest, through Norwegian Cruise Line, will award 15 teachers across the U.S. and Canada, a cruise.
“We could use a break,” Carrier said.
Only one will win a $15,000 grant for his/her classroom. Carrier says if he wins the grant, the first thing he'll do is buy new drum line equipment for his students. While Kerrie credits her husband for spreading joy, he credits his band kids.
“We talk about creating beauty all the time," Carrier said. "The more beauty we create, the better we feel, and that’s kinda helped push us through this.”
To vote for Kendall Carrier to help him win the cruise and grant, click here. Voting ends Friday, Apr. 12.