A native of Kinston, Carraway began her career as a speech clinician and pursued her passion for working with young people as became an educational leader. She was an assistant principal in Kinston and a principal in Falkland. Later she became the first female high school principal in the district when she joined J.H. Rose High School and the first minority high school principal since high schools were integrated.
Carraway earned four degrees from ECU, including a pair of doctorates. She served Pitt County Schools as an assistant and associate superintendent and became the Orange County Superintendent for three years before retiring in 2007.
She returned to her alma mater and worked to strengthen the Chancellor's Leadership Academy and develop the Virtual Early College High School at ECU.