Carolyn Strelo-Smith Receives 2016-2017 Excellence in Education Award

by Placerville Newswire / Jun 13, 2017 / comments

[Dina Gentry]  IMAGE: Carolyn Strelo-Smith stands with County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Ed Manansala, and receives the Excellence in Education Award for the 2016-2017 school year. 

Each year, the El Dorado County Office of Education (EDCOE) recognizes individuals for hard work that directly or indirectly contributes to providing quality support and services to students, schools, families, and the community. One admirable team member is selected to receive the Superintendent’s “Excellence in Education Award”; this year’s recipient is Carolyn Strelo-Smith - a retiring teacher at the Rite of Passage, Sierra Sage Academy in Yerington, Nevada. EDCOE serves as the Authorizer and Governing Board for the Rite of Passage Charter High Schools providing all administrative, instructional, and financial support for the educational and vocational training programs for incarcerated students.

“Carolyn embodies the very essence of the Excellence in Education Award, and it is my honor to present it to her today,” County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Ed Manansala, stated at a recognition ceremony in May. “She is uplifting, positive, open-minded, and passionate about educating her students.”

Carolyn’s journey through education began as a Teacher in 1964 at Newark Public Schools. She held several different positions over the years, including Demonstration Teacher, Resource Teacher, Co-Director at “A Learning Place,” Program Specialist, and Principal. She became part of the EDCOE family in 2008. At Sierra Sage Academy, Carolyn’s energetic personality is magnetic to her students and colleagues. According to one of her fellow teachers, “She has great people skills. When you are being reprimanded, you end up thanking her!” 

Along with Carolyn’s passion for her students, she is deeply committed to the betterment of her community. At age 21, she became the campaign manager for Edwards for Congress in Newark. Her campaign work continued for several election years, including fulfilling the role of Political Chair of the Alameda County Teachers from 1967 to 1969. She was named Citizen of the Year by the Lions Club in 2003 and currently serves as the Director of the Rotary Club of Yerington, Director of Through a Child’s Eyes, and a hospital board member.

On a personal note, Carolyn loves quilting. As part of project-based learning curriculum, she taught the students how to make their own and compiled their individual pieces to make a school quilt. As part of Rotary, Carolyn ensured that a Silver State or Sierra Sage Academy student may be named as a student of the month and makes arrangements for these students to attend the meeting to be properly recognized.   

For more information about EDCOE and the Rite of Passage programs, visit www.edcoe.org