by Linda Frabl | photo by Dawn at Nicoli Productions

Carrie Smith Feels Strongly About Contributing to the School Community

volunteer_smithWith the nonstop chatter about constant budget cuts and problematic academic standards in schools, it’s easy to sit back and blame the educational system overall. What isn’t easy is to try and do something about the situation. Shadowridge resident Carrie Smith, a mother of a fourth grade girl, actively makes sure her daughter’s experiences at the National University Academy Dual Language Institute (DLI) are continually improving.

As the school’s vice president of the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) for the past two years, Carrie revealed, “All schools face the challenge of trying to do a lot on a minimal budget, and discovering creative ways to pay for enriching projects can be both challenging and rewarding. Through our PTO, we can provide community-building activities that bring students, parents, and teachers together to achieve our goals.”

Name: Carrie Smith
Community: Shadowridge
Volunteer Affiliation: Dual Language Institute, The Lauren Beam Foundation
Family: Husband – Sinclair Smith, U.S. Marine; Daughter – Anika
Hobbies: Taking exercise classes, running, traveling, hosting parties, and working with kids


In addition to serving on the PTO board, Carrie also teaches P.E. at DLI two days a week, and helped establish such popular fundraising events as Field Day, Salsa Night, and Move-A-Thon. In addition, Carrie added, “I am proud that our PTO can provide opportunities for classrooms to take field trips and purchase in-class items that have enriched the students’ learning.”

Her ultimate goal for DLI is that it may one day obtain a bigger space for its campus, but Carrie is very grateful for all that DLI offers. She explained, “My husband and I value learning a second language, and we chose DLI so that our daughter would have the opportunity to learn Spanish in an immersion setting. We also feel strongly about doing our part to contribute to the school community.”

When she isn’t providing volunteering support for DLI, Carrie, who holds a teaching credential, is the head coach of the dance team at SDSU. She is also a board member of the Laura Beam Foundation (, a nonprofit organization honoring Carrie’s sister, Lauren Beam, who coached the NYU Women’s Swimming and Diving Teams and who passed away from colon cancer at age 34. Carrie elaborated, “The money we raise goes directly to otherwise healthy, active young adults who are battling cancer.”

Extending a plea to others, Carrie asserted, “Our school is always looking for volunteers. If there are community members looking to dedicate their time or resources to a worthy cause, they are encouraged to contact the DLI Site Facilitator Alecia at 760-631-6200.”

Group: Dual Language Institute
Mission: The Dual Language Institute is a united community which prepares its students for the future with bilingual instruction for second language acquisition in English or Spanish; as well as respect for themselves, others, and the environment.