Funeral services were held Wednesday for Michael Carter, a longtime Baltimore city schools advocate whose outspokeness landed him the position in the administration of CEO Andres Alonso as the director of the district's parent and community engagement office.
We wrote an obituary last week on Carter, who lost his battle with cancer last week, which included solemn, but colorful remarks and remembrances from a host of city school officials and those who worked with him in schools and communities. You can check out the obituary here.
"Michael's death is both a personal and professional loss. He meant a great deal to me," Alonso said in the obituary, recalling how when he arrived, Carter told him that he either needed to make substantive changes in the system or go back to New York.
"He told me at the time [that the city had] gone though seven superintendents and that he had seen the 'likes of me come and go,' Alonso said with a laugh. "He told me if I wasn't serious about making changes, that he'd drive me back to the airport."
"Michael had been around a long time. He understood the city and had been incredibly critical of the school system and its deficiencies," Alonso added.
Carter was also very close with Michael Sarbanes, the executive director of the community engagement. The two shared a passion for changing the lives and perception of the city's children.
In the obituary, Sarbanes said Carter was particularly proud of was Great Kids Come Back, a community-based initiative that sought to bring dropouts back to school.
"He'd have people in the neighborhoods go door-to-door to find the kids," said Sarbanes.
In addition to his dedication to the school system, Carter also remained rooted in his communities--where his advocacy work started.
He was chairman of the board of Wholistic Counseling Inc. on Edmondson Avenue, which operates a certified outpatient drug treatment program. Carter was also a community organizer in the Sandtown-Winchester, Harlem Park and Lafayette Square neighborhoods, involved in a wide range of intitatives.