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EDCOE Team Member Spotlight - Cheryl Urbani

11:50 AM - November 05, 2021

EDCOE Team Member Spotlight, Cheryl Urbani (pictured), Teacher, Adult Education

Briefly describe your background (where you grew up, family, why you came to work for EDCOE).

I grew up mostly in Southern California, but we crisscrossed the country and the globe due to my father’s occupation. By the time I graduated high school, I had been to 13 different schools.

I have two young adult children, both of whom attend FLC and still reside with me. Ours is a multi-generational household with three generations represented. It can be both exhausting and lovely. Mostly the latter.

What is your department, title, and how long have you worked for EDCOE?

I came to work for EDCOE when my youngest started first grade, and I no longer felt the need to be a stay-at-home parent. I began my career with EDCOE in the Extended Day (ED) program as an Instructor because the hours were perfect for my family. I was not yet ready to resume teaching and my kids were able to attend the ED program after school with me. That was many years ago, and I’ve worked for EDCOE in a variety of capacities since.

I currently work for the Adult Education Department as an adult education teacher at the Placerville Jail and Probation department. I am also the Transition Navigator/Data Manager that works with the Capital Adult Education Regional Consortium (CAERC). I’ve been with the department for three years. I believe I’ve worked for EDCOE for approximately 15 years now.

Describe how your role helps support programs/schools/students directly or indirectly.

I truly love Adult Education. I’ve taught K-12 for years and loved that as well. There is something about teaching adults though. Incarcerated students are unique. They are the at-risk students of the past and are still severely at risk in the future. If we assist them, we not only help the individual, but their children and families as well. Recidivism claws families apart and hurts communities.

What are you and your team doing to support education during COVID-19?

The Adult Education team continues to serve students during the pandemic. During program shutdowns we continued with distance learning so our students could work towards their academic goals. Our department launched a massive campaign to keep in touch with every student. I am proud of what we have all accomplished during this trying time!

What do you most appreciate about your department/team?

The Adult Education team is growing, and I love that. I can’t wait to see where we are in a year! The El Dorado campus is going to be astounding.

What is your proudest moment at EDCOE? Why?

That’s difficult. Every single time I have a graduate or a former student lets me know they’ve gotten a better job or have entered college. I can’t choose just one.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

In my spare time I volunteer with Foothill Dog Rescue. My family and I often foster dogs that need a safe place before they’re ready for adoption.

What is something many people may not know about you?

Something most people do not know about me is that I am a twin. My sister, Michelle Cattapan, also spent several years working for the Extended Day program before she moved out of the area. She currently works for Wellspring Community in Colorado Springs and says hello!

If you could meet anyone in the world, living or deceased, who would it be and why?

On a purely personal level, I would love to sit down with Robin Williams. Professionally, I’d love the chance to discuss further investment in adult students with President Biden.

From supervisor, Carey Buchanan, Principal, Alternative Programs:

Cheryl is an absolute doll. She is so kind, generous and patient. She has really found her niche in Adult Education and her love for it comes through in everything she does. Her students adore her, and she has such positive relationships with outside agencies and other stakeholders. Everyone with whom she interacts has nothing but wonderful things to say about her and her work. She is relied on and respected at EDCOE and in the larger world of Adult Education. Her work ethic is outstanding and she approaches everything with a positive attitude. She leads with heart.

She has definitely been a gift for me as I enter into this new role. She is so knowledgeable about all things Adult Ed and is constantly seeking opportunities to learn more and to grow. EDCOE and the Adult Ed program are incredibly lucky to have Cheryl.

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