Fellow Profile: Carter Zenke

About Carter

Student, MA in Technology, Innovation, and Education at Harvard University

Though we're often (rightfully) caught up in our local realities, it's important to recognize how much our reality is shaped by others', and to form relationships both reflecting and celebrating that interdependence. I think TeachHouse, in part, stands for that principle as it enables those kinds of relationships in Durham and beyond.

Carter joined TeachHouse in 2018 as the TeachHouse Innovation Fellow, guiding the launch of the house’s educational technology lab. He is now a master’s student in Technology, Innovation, and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he studies computing education, identity development, constructionism, and creativity. As co-founder of the CSbyUs lab, Carter collaborated with Durham educators to lead the development of North Carolina’s upcoming elementary computer science curriculum. A future computer science teacher, he intends to continue leading research from the classroom—bringing teacher and student voice to the implementation of policy.

Previously, Carter was a John Lewis Fellow at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights and the Director of the Karsh Mentorship Initiative in Kathmandu, Nepal. He earned a B.A. with highest distinction from Duke, where he studied as an Angier B. Duke Scholar and completed a thesis advancing a theory computing identity with a corresponding student assessment tool. He is from Fairfax, Virginia. You can view his digital portfolio here

Why did you become a teacher?

Joining TeachHouse showed me that teachers face some of the most important questions ever posed: What do humans need? What does justice look like? Many have written, theorized, even sung potential answers to these debates. Only teachers, though, get to work with the young people most impacted by these questions to build a response—in the form of classrooms, schools, and relationships. Their answers, in turn, contribute to the flourishing of entire communities.