The energetic and always enthusiastic Carole Renca has been with the Burlington School District for 38 years . She started her teaching career in Connecticut in 1981 and moved to Vermont in 1983. She was in her mid-twenties and so excited about teaching. In 1983 she started with BSD as a paraprofessional. It was tough getting a teaching position in Burlington back then because there were so many highly educated and qualified candidates.
Carole worked as a special educator at Ontop for 18 years (Taft Building), before changing career paths and becoming the librarian at Wheeler (now IAA) for one year and then Edmunds Middle where she was part of the team of EMS educators that were bold enough to push the library into the 21st Century, creating a project based learning space with recording rooms, green screen areas, vinyl cutter, Cricut Maker, heat press, button maker, makey makey kits and sewing machines for hands on exploration. A true community learning area.
Working in education was so exciting. Every year was different!Carole Renca
Words from Carole:
What I will miss: I will miss coming to work with other educators and being with the kids. Working in education was so exciting. Every year was different! Burlington schools have always been innovative and evolving, educators willing to challenge themselves and welcoming. I loved that!
What I am proudest of: I am proud of my dedication, passion and love for working as an educator with Burlington’s children. They have been my life’s work and it was incredibly rewarding.
Advice to pass on: My advice is to make sure that you take care of yourself as well as your colleagues. Take the time you need to be well and be aware of how your choices impact your colleagues. It’s a balance you negotiate. Also, keep yourself invested in new learning opportunities that excite you! Help by acknowledging the struggles of others, keeping an open mind, staying positive and working on committees to solve school-wide problems.
Future Plans: I really hope to travel and learn more about a world that I have only read about in books. I have been working within a structure for most of my adult life and have not had the opportunity nor the finances to learn through travel. My husband and I were able to start traveling a few years ago and it has been so exciting. I also hope to relax and just enjoy each day — rediscover myself, spend time with my family and appreciate life.
Words from Colleagues:
Carole, Thank you for being such a welcoming presence in our building. With your vision and support, the library has been a vibrant and transformative space at EMS. Your legacy will live on in the physical space and in the small moments that you have cultivated through years of hard work- in students reading a new book that they can’t possibly put down, in a class using the Makerspace to Cricut cut something new, or in a group of teachers collaborating using the resources you so carefully curated. We are grateful for your expertise and passion. Enjoy this new chapter- we will miss you! Margaret Talbot
Carole has been a calm, welcoming presence in the library for those seeking a quiet refuge. She has also been an amazing resource and teacher for those learning to write essays for the Lincoln Essay contest. She promotes literacy in a very intentional and thoughtful way for our young audience. It has been awesome working with her in the library because she makes it such a fun environment. Amy Bourgea
If there is one thing Mrs. Renca is known for, it’s the 8th grade Hildene Essay Contest. Hildene, The Lincoln Family Home, has a motto “values into action.” Carole is certainly one who puts values into action. She advocates for books on hot topic content that students can relate to, that provoke thinking deeply about humanity, our connections to one another, and how we can promote kindness in the world. Rebecca McCray
A smile as wide and big as her heart. Always willing to give a new idea a try and work for what’s best for kids. Daryl Kuhn
I will miss Carole Renca dearly. She is nothing short of an Edmunds institution. I cannot think of a single instance over the past 15 years working with Carole where she has treated me, other faculty, and students with anything less than the rarest sort of kindness and warmth. Her amazing annual achievement with the Hildene Essay contest is just one of many instances of her far-reaching impact on the Edmunds community, but it represents the qualities that make her such a singular educator: a combination of the highest standards and deepest empathy that always coaxes the best out of our students. We love you, Carole, and we will miss you. Congratulations on starting the next step on your adventure. We’re all better for having been a part of it. Terrance Landberg
One of my highlights from this pandemic year was to have a few socially distanced minutes hanging out in the hallway with Carole, as we greeted arriving students. Carole and I spoke about school, family, politics, everything. I have truly valued our friendship. She made everyone–colleagues and students–feel that they are all that matter at any given moment. Carole has been surrounded by books for her whole professional career and it clearly has influenced her ability to tell meaningful stories and has shaped her open-minded world view. Carole made the library an inviting place. Students gravitated there more often to see her than to sign out a particular book. But she could always unearth someone’s interest and have them leave with a new book, often setting them on a path to becoming an avid reader. Rich Boyers
Carole, your impact on the EMS community is immeasurable. Your care of your colleagues, love of your students, and the pride and energy that you’ve put into creating a library that is the focal point of the Edmund’s community will last for generations. Thank you for being a leader and visionary in our district. Your colleagues have grown because of your passion and wisdom when it comes to books and literacy instruction. Students have benefited from your creativity and student first approach. Whether taking the time to connect with a student so that they could find the “perfect” book, advising a student in the editing process of the LIncoln essay, or helping a child to demonstrate their learning by helping them navigate the cricket maker, sewing machine, or video equipment, there was never a student ask that was too big. Carole, thank you for all you’ve done for the EMS. We are all better people because of our time with you! Brent Truchon
Carole Renca. I “met” the library before I met you. I was so impressed when I walked into that space. It’s clear that the materials were chosen and displayed to deliberately appeal to the diversity known as “humanity.” The space is bright, open, and inviting. Then, I met you, and I realized that the space is a direct reflection of you… bright, open, and inviting. You are a positive force. I have been so grateful for the numerous times we have had the opportunity to collaborate this year. You are solutions-focused and student-centered. Your positivity and professionalism will be deeply missed. All my respect for you… James Kiefer
Carole is the most wonderful co-worker. She is open and honest and makes working her easy. She is the voice of reason and kindness. Her ability to connect to students through books is amazing! She did awesome activities with her students to make our community better and teach our students about ways that they can impact our community. She will be missed! Brady Lozier
It’s hard to imagine EMS without Carole Renca. I will miss her warm and beautiful smile, her commitment to our students and our staff, her wisdom, her humor, her colleagueship, and her friendship. The job of a school librarian has evolved mightily during Carole’s tenure, and she has embraced every change and new initiative with gusto. She speaks her mind, asks the tough questions, always in a way that leaves no doubt she is seeking the best outcome for all. She tirelessly fosters connections with our students, often helping them achieve things they didn’t even know they could reach for. Her work with our 8th grade students who have participated in the rigorous Hilden Essay Competition is nothing short of remarkable. Carole has left her positive mark on our community, and I hope she enjoys every minute of her well-earned retirement. She will be oh-so missed! Kathy Gallagher
When Carole Renca came to EMS it was like a light switch was flipped on. She made the library a vibrant place to be. Students and staff alike have depended on her kind, thoughtful, and “I’ll take care of it!” approach to any situation. I will personally miss our long conversations on all manner of topics. Carole will continue, I’m sure, to bring joy wherever she goes. Jane Lavigne