Alicia Carrico

EDWARDSVILLE - Alicia Carrico will celebrate 20 years of teaching soon, and her love for the job is as strong as ever.

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Carrico, a fifth-grade teacher at Columbus Elementary, found her passion for teaching as a college student. This Teacher Appreciation Week, she’s celebrating the end of another great year and looking forward to her next milestone as a teacher in the Edwardsville Community Unit School District #7.

“I initially went to college with aspirations of becoming a writer. However, as the first few semesters went by, I kept circling back to my love of working with children,” Carrico remembered. “Combining my love of books, writing and being with kids led me to elementary education.”

It was a match made in heaven. Carrico’s passion for helping kids guided her through her first several years at District 7, when she taught a library class before being transferred to fifth grade.

She enjoys teaching fifth graders, though she noted it can be difficult at times. Fifth grade is viewed as a transition year as the students prepare to enter middle school. Carrico has to navigate helping her young students while encouraging their maturity.

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“I think the most challenging part of teaching fifth grade is finding the right balance between preparing the students for the independence and increased responsibilities of middle school, while still supporting them as elementary students,” Carrico said.

It’s a delicate balance, but Carrico strikes it right every time. She gives students the extra love they need but still allows them to blossom. She goes out of her way to provide a safe, caring environment in which they can grow, while still teaching them the important lessons they need to succeed in middle school and beyond. This intentionality makes her an even stronger teacher.

While Carrico loves her job, she has a vibrant life outside of the classroom, too. She enjoys working out, especially boxing, and photography is one of her passions. At home, she can often be found cooking, baking or reading suspense novels.

Carrico understands the importance of her job; after all, she’s been doing it for nearly two decades. She still loves it and can’t wait to mark 20 years of teaching in the next few months. Her affection for her students makes her the impressive teacher she is.

“When a ‘lightbulb’ moment happens for a student, their excitement is contagious,” Carrico added. “Seeing their progress from August to May definitely makes it worthwhile.”

Thank you to Alicia Carrico for your work as a teacher!

At, we are celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week from May 6 to May 10, 2024, by highlighting a Riverbend teacher every day. If you would like to nominate a teacher to be profiled, email with their name and email address.

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