From Galt to Galt
In honor of Teachers Appreciation Week, we are departing from the typical format of this column during May to honor many of the educators who have gone through the Galt school system and returned to teach the next generation of Galtonians.
Ashley Carter Wood
Liberty Ranch High School
Unlike many teachers, it wasn’t the time Ashley Wood spent in the classroom that had the largest impact on her choice to teach. In fact, teaching wasn’t her original goal at all.
“When I was 13, I tore my ACL and meniscus in my knee and never felt like I healed properly,” she said. “I heard a Bible verse at church one day that, in summary, said ‘we suffer and are comforted in order to comfort others that suffer.’ At that moment, I knew I wanted to help athletes in need.”
After Wood graduated from Galt High School in 2010, she moved to San Diego to attend San Diego State University where she earned a Bachelor of Science in kinesiology with an emphasis in athletic training. She also holds a Career Technical Education (CTE) Credential in health science & medical technology from USD.
Wood returned to Galt after college and married fellow GHS graduate Paul Wood in 2016. She started working at LRHS as the school’s athletic trainer and, in 2014, she also started working as a substitute teacher. This school year, she was able to offer a sports medicine and anatomy class.
As the athletic trainer, Wood is the first person to respond to any sport injuries.
“A common misconception is that I just do first aid and ankle taping,” she said. “I am an emergency responder to any injury that occurs, whether it be a heart condition, broken bones, dislocations, ligament tears, heat exhaustion, concussions, lightning strikes, hydration, rehabilitation, prevention ... And my main goal is to keep those athletes playing. I never want to see anyone get hurt, but am trained and ready for when something does occur.”
Her role outside the classroom has allowed her to develop a unique relationship with the students she teaches.
“I think it helps to create a positive, respectful, understanding relationship, and the students trust me,” Wood said. “We also get to see each other in a different light, which helps give perspective to me as the teacher and them as the student.”
As the sports medicine program continues to grow, Wood hopes to have the opportunity to get her students involved as student athletic trainers at school sporting events.
Jissel Margo Palomares
Marengo Ranch Elementary School
The oldest of five, Jissel Palomares was born and raised in Galt, attending Valley Oaks Elementary School and Galt Middle School before graduating from Galt High School in 1992.
“I took a child development class taught by A. Millet, which is now taught by J. Dinn,” Palomares said. “We, as students, had a great opportunity to work with elementary school students at the local elementary schools on a daily basis. That’s when I realized I wanted to work with children.”
She continued to volunteer and work at various daycares and preschools throughout high school and while attending Cosumnes River College for her associate degree. She then continued on to earn her Bachelor of Arts in liberal studies from California State University, Sacramento.
Palomares has now been teaching in Galt for 19 years and has taught at Fairsite Preschool, Valley Oaks Elementary School and River Oaks Elementary School. She now teaches third grade at Marengo Ranch Elementary School.
“I love all the schools and have wonderful memories from teaching at these schools. Galt Joint Union Elementary School District is a great district,” she said.
After almost 20 years in the classroom, Palomares enjoys Teacher Appreciation Week, but feels that the real reward is the chance to work with her students every day and see the improvements they make.
“I really do not expect anything [for Teacher Appreciation Week], but it is nice to see that teachers are appreciated,” she said. “I love to receive a cute drawing and/or a letter of appreciation from the student. With this age group, they show their appreciation all year long.”
Courtney Nizzoli Carillo
Galt High School
Since both Courtney Carillo’s mother and grandmother were teachers, some might think teaching is just in her blood. However, it wasn’t until after she graduated from California State University, Sacramento with her Bachelor of Arts in family and consumer science that Carillo considered teaching might be her career path as well.
Before graduating from Galt High School in 2007, Carillo was on the volleyball and soccer teams, and her love of athletics proved to be the key to her teaching career.
“After college, I started subbing in the Galt high school district, as well as the Elk Grove school district,” she said. “I did a couple of long-term positions at Liberty Ranch and Galt High [and] I found that I really enjoyed teaching the PE classes and curriculum, so I decided to get my teaching credential in 2013.”
Her biggest support through the teaching credential program was her husband and high school sweetheart Dominic Carillo. Now that she is in her fourth year of teaching, she has worked at Lake Canyon Elementary School, McCaffrey Middle School, Valley Oaks Elementary School and currently teaches mostly freshman PE classes at Galt High School.
“The older students are nice to work with because their skills are more developed and they have a competitiveness that’s fun to watch,” she said. “Older students also have a more developed sense of humor and overall more interest in sports, health and overall wellness, which makes for more interesting questions, conversations and time spent in PE.”
Away from work, Carillo enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband and two sons, five and three, and coaching her sons in sports.