Spotlight

IN THE SPOTLIGHT...

Image of Santana with TUPETobacco-Use Prevention Education (TUPE)
The TUPE program through Educational Services provides funding for programs in grades six through twelve through a competitive application process for tobacco-specific student instruction, reinforcement activities, special events, and intervention and cessation programs for students.

TUPE Special Events include:

  • Brief Intervention Program in collaboration with Colusa Sheriff’s Department: This program works with students countywide in creating healthy goals, educating on the dangers of vaping, and establishing alternative choices to live a healthier life.
  • Red Ribbon Week: This event provides students countywide with supplies (pencils, wristbands, etc…) It focuses on awareness of what the Red Ribbon represents which is a symbol of their commitment to raise awareness on drug abuse.
  • School Assemblies

For more information, visit the TUPE webpage and contact Santana King – TUPE Coordinator at santanaking@ccoe.net / (530) 473-1350 x:10305. 


Rhonda Sousa - Celebrating 35 Years as a Special Education Teacher at CCOEImage of Rhonda Sousa

Tell us about your family, where you grew up, and how you became a Special Education teacher.
I grew up in Orland, California and was the 3rd generation to graduate from Orland High School.  I have a twin sister and a little brother who is a doctor in Visalia.  I met my husband on a blind date when I was 19 years old and we just celebrated our 39th anniversary this summer. We have 2 great children. Our son is a lieutenant in the air force and our daughter, also a graduate of CSUC, is a social worker. I went to Shasta College with the intention of becoming a nurse.  During the summer of my 2nd year, I worked as a camp counselor at a camp for the handicapped.  I never looked back; changed my major to education, Special Education.  I graduated from CSUC in 1980 and did my graduate work there.  While in graduate school, I worked as a substitute teacher in general education and then an aide in a Special Day Class (SDC) classroom in Hamilton City and a long-term substitute teacher in a SDC class in Chico.

Tell us how you came to work at Colusa County Office of Education and the changes you have seen as a Special Education teacher.

In 1983, I interviewed with Dr. JoAnn Saltzen, Colusa County Superintendent of Schools, and was offered a job in Arbuckle.  At that time, Arbuckle was small so I taught at two sites, Pierce High School and Johnson Jr. High.  In fact, I was the first Special Education teacher at Johnson Jr. High. When the numbers of students increased, I was asked if I wanted to teach at Jr. High or High School.  I took the position full time at JJH and I loved it. In 1997, I transferred to Maxwell K-8 and later the high school so I could attend my kids sport activities. 

In 35 years at CCOE as a Special Education teacher, I have seen many changes in the laws and regulations in Special Education.  An IEP used to be 2-3 pages long, but now it is 18-30 pages depending on the student.  I watched our SELPA grow from SDC and Resource Rooms to Full-inclusion for all students thanks to Debra Owens, SELPA Director.  The qualifications for a Special Education teacher has also changed.  At one point, teachers had to have 3 years teaching experience before being accepted into the Special Education Program. Today teachers can get their general education and special education credential concurrently.  But with all of these changes, the students are still as wonderful now as they were when I first started. That’s probably why I’m still teaching. I have always been blessed with great aides, support personnel, and staff.  They have always made my job easier and fun. 

What is your proudest moment at CCOE and why?

My proudest moment is every year when I watch “my kids” walk across the stage at graduation.  Most parents insist that I have my picture taken with their graduates.  I am very proud to do so. Happy times and good memories.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
In my spare time, I enjoy working in my yard, reading, going to “the cabin” in Mill Creek and visiting with my grandchildren.  I like to travel and I am looking forward to it more of it when I retire. I have a group of high schoolers that I want to see graduate and then I may retire or think about it.

Thank you, Rhonda, for sharing your journey and congratulations on your 35 years at CCOE!


Tammy Arce - Celebrating 25 Years of Service

Image of Tammy ArceTammy has been with Colusa County Office of Education for 25 years. Currently you will find "Teacher Tammy" working with preschool age children at Colusa Head Start. However, she started her career at CCOE in 1994 in Special Education as a Paraeducator with 3rd grade students at Arbuckle Elementary. Beginning the 1999-2000 school year, she moved to Children's Services as a Teacher/Paraeducator with preschool age children

Her proudest moment at CCOE? Tammy shares, "Every time I see a student succeed and learn something new, it makes me proud to be a part of their learning." 

Tammy was born and raised in Woodland, CA and moved to Colusa in 1992. She received her bachelor's degree in Child Development from California State University, Sacramento. Tammy and her husband raised one son, Patrick. Patrick is now married and lives with his wife, Rosanna, and their two sons, Christian and Cruz.  In Tammy's spare time she enjoys spending time with her grandsons. She also likes kayaking, reading, and walking with her friend Mary. Tammy's favorite colors are green and purple. Her favorite food is enchiladas. Something people may not know about Tammy? She loves watching old sitcoms. 

Thank you, Tammy, for your dedication to families and your 25 years of service with Colusa County Office of Education.