The Yolo County Community Advisory Committee and SELPA honored 16 educators for their outstanding service and dedication to individuals with disabilities at an annual awards ceremony on Monday, May 12.
The awardees each received a ceramic plaque designed and created by students and teachers at the Einstein Education Center. Two of the students, Sal Mendoza and Mario De La Rosa were on hand to present the awards along with members of the CAC.
Among the honorees were retiring Superintendent Debra LaVoi, Woodland Joint Unified School District, and Jorge O. Ayala, Yolo County Superintendent of Schools.
“It was an honor to receive this award designed by a student who will be graduating this June from the Einstein Education Center,” Ayala said. “It was clear that Sal had poured his heart and soul into designing the piece as well as writing a dedication to accompany the award. Being able to talk with Sal and hear about his own educational journey makes the award so much more meaningful.”
De La Rosa said: “I really liked hearing about the people who won the awards that we made.”
This is the second year that students have participated in the project in collaboration with YoloArts. The project provided an opportunity to integrate arts instruction with a professional artist (ceramic artist Susan Shelton), community service (students volunteered their time) and career exploration and work experience (creating a commissioned art piece for a client). The students were given specifications for the award plaques, including information about each individual awardee and then chose images to celebrate and honor education and educators. Shelton, who herself has been commissioned to create numerous art private and public art pieces, guided the students through the process.
“This is the type of educational experience we strive to provide our students — engaging in the community, working with professional mentors and learning and applying skills in real world projects,” noted EEC Principal Debra Wellbrock.