Kate Smith

She is an Ahwatukee newcomer and the new student dean at Rio Salado College.

Ahwatukee has a new resident who is also a new official at Rio Salado College in Tempe.

Not only is Kate Smith new to Ahwatukee, but this is her first foray into a desert climate, a college spokeswoman said.

The New York native is the college’s new vice president for academic affairs, unwittingly choosing to move to Arizona several weeks ago during the record-breaking heat wave.

“I like a challenge,” said Smith, referring to both the temperatures and her new responsibilities with Rio Salado. “The institution is nationally regarded and since arriving, I can attest to the overwhelming expertise and collaborative and innovative spirit that guides all the work here.”

“Additionally, the Maricopa Community Colleges are recognized as a leading district and I am proud to be a part of it,” she said.

The spokeswoman said Smith “brings a depth of experience to her new role with more than 20 years of experience in education.”

Most recently she was dean of the academic foundations division at Monroe Community College in Rochester, New York.

She also taught 7-12th grade math, served as an employee trainer, and developed test preparation materials for civil service exams.

“Honestly, I have wanted to be a teacher since I was young enough to remember,” Smith said. “My entire life, I held teachers in the utmost esteem.  I can remember lining up my stuffed animals as a kid and using my chalkboard to ‘teach’ them.”

Smith has bachelor degrees in mathematics and German from William Smith College, and a master’s degree in mathematics education from the University of Rochester.

“Teachers and education change lives - quite simply, that is why I chose a career in education,” Smith said. 

She explained her transition to administration: “I believe strong voices are needed in academia leadership to represent and advocate for the needs of students today. Having strong leadership in academia is paramount for preserving socially just practices in education.”

While settling into her new job, Smith also is excited about her new home.

“Ahwatukee is awesome,” Smith said. “The beauty is amazing. The outdoor community seems great and I already love living here.”

While she doesn’t have any favorite spots yet, Smith has already sampled the hospitality.

“I had a wonderful breakfast with some trail runners at Hillside Spot, and I had an excellent and helpful conversation with the owners (Mike and Stephanie) of Curbside Cyclery,” Smith said. “No matter where I have gone, I have been greeted by friendly, kind, interesting and helpful people. I feel very fortunate.”

Ahwatukee financial advisor qualified for conference

David Carruth, an Edward Jones financial advisor in Ahwatukee, has qualified for the firm's 2016 Financial Advisor Leaders Conference held in May in St. Louis. The conference recognizes financial advisors who are among the leaders in the financial-services firm.

Carruth was among the 821 advisors who qualified out of the firm's 14,000 financial consultants in the U.S. and Canada

"Qualifying for this conference shows a tremendous amount of discipline, commitment and work ethic," said Alan Kindsvater, an Edward Jones partner responsible for advanced branch training.

Academic drum roll, please

Several Ahwatukee residents have made the spring semester dean’s lists at universities and colleges across the country. Cheyenne Boyd made the list at Salve Regina College in Rhode Island after graduating in May. Erik Masingill graduated Marquette University in Milwaukee with a public relations degree and also was named recently to the dean’s list.

Landing dean’s honors at Hofstra University in New York were two Ahwatukee residents, Elizabeth Cowee and Daniel Rose-Ziegler.

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