- Julio Segura – Central Section Renewing Member
- Susan Beckman – South Coast Section Payroll Deduction Member
- Polina Trask – Southern Section New Member
As adult education professionals, we often do what we do to elevate, encourage, educate, and empower our students. Yet, generally, most of us focus on what we are assigned, with little thought about the long-term impact on the lives of the students we encounter. If we are lucky, it is only in later years, after our students have left us, that we hear how they are faring. So often, we stumble upon former students at their workplace or going about their lives, more confident and empowered than we remember them. In the case of Ms. Edith Moreno, her creativity bloomed during her first time in our school. Such are the moments that fill our hearts with joy and gratitude for the occupation we have chosen.
Edith Moreno is one such student who unearthed her inner creativity in a Language Arts class in 2019 through the original pieces of writing she did, namely, "Lady Lavan" and "Through the Fire." In the Bridge to Success-Language Arts class at Corona-Norco Adult School, she met Mr. Belcher. He helped her unearth her love for learning, her innate creative mind, and eventually, her discovery of self-worth and freedom of choice to live a dignified life.
Edith’s speech at the CCAE South Coast / Southern Section Conference at Palm Springs on November 19, 2022, is evidence of her journey. A journey that led her to escape an abusive relationship, overcome the challenges of homelessness with her eight-year-old son during the pandemic, and rebuild a life of freedom and a voice that empowers other women in her community. Ms. Moreno volunteers as a public speaker for a non-profit organization that supports women in shelters. Her message is, “It’s perfectly okay to be imperfect,” the Kintsugi philosophy of embracing the flawed or the imperfect. (from Edith Moreno’s speech.)
Congratulations to the following winners...
We now have four categories for our quarterly membership drawing: new member, renewing member, payroll deduction member, and our brand new category "referring member". Anyone enrolling for membership into CCAE can add the person who referred them to CCAE. "All referring member names will be added to our quarterly drawing - once for each referral. The more folks you encourage to join CCAE, the more times your anime goes into the drawing!"
Each will be awarded a $50 Target gift card.
Colleen Barela is an outstanding instructor who is devoted to her adult students’ success. As a CCAE South Coast Section member and master Office Careers’ Teacher, Colleen effectively differentiates her instruction so that all students succeed. Colleen has much experience working with the Veteran and older adult populations and students with disabilities. She excels in curriculum development, workforce education, and hybrid teaching and learning. Utilizing multiple modalities to create an effective learning environment which engages and supports all students, Colleen is also an expert with the Canvas learning system. She uses educational technology to provide lectures, presentations, readings, discussion boards, and learning assessments.
As a life-long learner herself, Colleen constantly seeks to grow professionally and immerses herself in embracing a “positive mindset,” which she freely shares with her colleagues and students.
Colleen is well respected as a change agent and excellent instructor. We appreciate the contributions she brings to adult education and value her as an important member of CCAE.
“Student Success Coordinator” does not even begin to define the immense role that Ann Forlenza plays at Davis Adult and Community Education. As a small adult school, every employee has to wear many hats and in Ann’s case, these hats include being the testing coordinator, data manager, transition navigator, and right-hand woman to the principal in all things. It would not be an exaggeration to say that, without Ann, the adult school would not function.
Ann found her way to the adult school through a long and winding path, like many of our adult school students. She returned to school later in life and completed her Bachelor’s degree around the same time that her daughter graduated from high school. Her own story of “going back to school” serves as an inspiration to her students, many of which are raising children of their own and managing complicated lives and jobs while trying to also complete their education.
Ann started working for the adult school in the Spring of 2021. She immediately demonstrated her tenacity and ability to learn on the fly since she had to start in her position while the entire school staff was still 100% remote, which meant that she had to receive all her training for the position over Zoom. She rose to the task with enthusiasm and a sincere desire to learn – a trait which she also models for our students in her position as Student Success Coordinator.
Since then, Ann has become an invaluable member of the Davis Adult team. Her creativity and ability to connect with students makes her the perfect person for her position. In the Fall of 2021, the adult school had its first official WASC accreditation visit, and Ann was instrumental in producing all of the data and reports that were needed for the report and was an excellent thought partner for the principal in preparing for the visit. Ann became a CCAE member in the Spring of 2022, continues to be an important member of the Davis Adult and Community Education family, and is a great advocate for adult education.
An avid advocate for adult education, CCAE, and LARAEC, Firoozeh Papan-Matin (Ph.D., UCLA) is an educator and published author. She has taught academic courses at the adult, post-secondary, and university levels. Ms. Papan-Matin is an active member and supporter of CCAE and LARAEC for their persistent commitment to educational programs and initiatives. She has served on these organizations’ planning and curriculum committees and presented at their conferences.
Stephanie Gomez was addicted to drugs by the age of fourteen. She became a prostitute at the age of twenty-seven. She has been a victim of childhood sexual abuse, domestic abuse, a child victim of a broken home, and a victim of adult homelessness, but today she has broken the cycle. Stephanie has been sober and free of prostitution for seven and a half years. She is no longer a victim of her past. She is a SURVIVOR!
Stephanie has learned that the past doesn’t define who you are or your future. She has grown from battered and abused, strung out and ashamed; to a woman who values her worth and believes in a God who loves and redeems. When she was young, she had many dreams, but along the way those dreams faded away. Once she got sober, she began to dream again. She went to recovery meetings, outreach events, and church. She did everything to build a new life. She got a job working with a cleaning company where she started at the bottom and worked her way up to supervisor and training manager. She is forever grateful for the six years there and to the company for taking a chance on her.
With big goals in mind, Stephanie went back to school to obtain her high school diploma at Clovis Adult Education. By doing this, she started to fulfill a dream in her heart of becoming a social worker, and she put together an education plan that would allow her to accomplish her dream. She graduated on January 7, 2022 and started attending Clovis Community College on January 10, 2022. Her goal is to transfer to Fresno State University to obtain a bachelor’s degree, then a master’s degree, and finally a PhD in Social Work.
Ms. Gomez's life has been one long journey and there are still many adventures left in her story that haven’t started yet, and she is excited for each and every one of them! Her dream of becoming a social worker stems from the hard life she has lived, as she personally knows just how deep the need is for more people in this line of work. She wants to be a light in a dark situation and be a beacon of hope to people in need. If she can help just one person, man or woman, child or family who is suffering from drug addiction, alcoholism, sexual abuse, domestic violence, or human trafficking, go from feeling trapped and victimized to feeling empowered and free as a survivor, then she will have accomplished something beautiful.
Finally, Stephanie considers herself to be a role model for her family because no matter how tough life got for her or how far down in her addiction she was, she didn’t stay there. She didn’t give up. She got up and fought her way back to life, back to her family, back to sobriety. By doing this, she hopes she has shown her family that it is never too late to start over. It's never too late to dream again, and not just follow your dreams, but chase after them. By getting sober and staying this way, she has shown her family that miracles do exist if you continue to believe in them. By going back to school and pursuing her dreams, she is showing her family that anything is possible if you just focus on something bigger than yourself. By choosing to become a social worker, she is showing her family that it is okay to let your past struggles lead you if they are taking you to a positive destination.
As a role model, Stephanie leads by example and guides those who need help down a righteous path, lifting them up along the way. She prays that she is not only a role model for her own family but for any person she meets who is struggling with something in their life. She feels by becoming a social worker, she will be in the perfect position to help somebody change their life the way she has done with hers.
Marina Kravtov joined San Mateo Adult School in 2011 as a Beginning ESL student from Russia. After completing our ESL program, she was hired as our English Language Specialist, here, starting in 2016.
As the Adult School attempted to implement its very first ever hybrid model program, a combination of online and in person programs, Marina persevered and transcended these extremely challenging times to demonstrate innovative practices and an outstanding commitment to the Adult School. Going above and beyond, despite being understaffed and experiencing various deficits due to COVID, she implemented and carried out exemplary registration and orientation processes to serve students since the start of the COVID pandemic.
To support school enrollments, Marina, coordinating with other staff, held numerous, multiple, small orientation sessions, as opposed to holding the typical pre-pandemic large sessions, to accommodate students, while working within mandated social distancing guidelines to protect their safety. This approach created more work for staff and significantly increased hours over many days, serving students, including managing multiple communications with hundreds of lower level non-English speakers by email.
Being an immigrant herself, an English language learner and former San Mateo Adult School student, has contributed to Marina's ability to empathize with our immigrant students and has added to her unique perspective, and in-depth knowledge of how to acquire a second language. She incorporates that knowledge into planning and improving our systems, measurements, rubrics, and placement of students. Her experience and involvement in helping to improve our measurements has helped us improve our students' placements, increased enrollment numbers and improved our data overall. She feels a high level of responsibility and goes beyond her duties to make sure students as well as staff, don't get lost in this complex multi-level process.
Marina has made tremendous contributions, being the main driver in developing the roles of our student volunteers, including mentoring and fostering their leadership skills. She contacts them, trains them, and supports their development as leaders in our program. She is a professional psychologist in her native country of Russia and brings compassion and understanding to student volunteer
development, which is also based on her professional experiences.
Marina’s colleagues have a tremendous amount of appreciation and respect for her and value working with her. She is collaborative. She takes initiative and consults to assure she is carrying out guidelines. She is irreplaceable. She has led parent groups, as well as various presentations on mental health. She always tries to find ways to improve our systems, and to look at our program overall with the intention of how to best serve, support and help direct our student population, while always showing concern for staff.
Come to the State Conference to see the award program in person!
This year, we are so excited that we get to honor our CCAE awardees IN-PERSON and via live streaming at the 2022 CCAE Conference taking place on May 6th and 7th.
CCAE members are a giving group. This year the State Membership Committee wanted to give a little something back to selected Renewing, New, and Payroll Deduction CCAE members. At each Quarterly State Board Meeting, the name of one member from each group is selected. The winners each have received a $75 Target gift card. Here are the names of those whose names have been selected thus far (drawings will continue throughout the fiscal year):
Our CCAE Membership Committee consists of State President Elect, Tom Reid, and the Membership representative from each section:
Bay – Kira Mann
Central – Crystal Rodriguez
LA Metro – Martha Martinez
Northern – Patricia Oliva
South Coast – Judy McFadden
Southern – Anel Martinez
At the end of February, retired Adult Educator and CCAE member, Alice Yoshioka, emailed the following:
After retirement, I decided to work with HLPAE students in competing in SkillsUSA, which is a huge organization that works with students to develop skills and leadership qualities. There are several levels of competition when students compete with other students in their field of study throughout the State and even the Nation. They start with local competition and advance forward to Region, State and National depending on how they perform. All 12 of our students have advanced to the State level. At Region our students competed in 5 categories (we are in Region 3 LA and Ventura County), and we took 4 gold medals, 3 silver and 2 bronze. We are so proud of our students.
Alice emailed to let us know that HLPAE will be adding these students to their Platinum Institutional Membership. Congratulations and best wishes to these students and to their support team: