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Familiar Faces: Longtime Oak Ridge High School educator looking forward to adventures in retirement

By: Menka Belgal, Telegraph Correspondent
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EL DORADO HILLS, CA - Carol Pomares has been teaching Spanish and Advanced Placement Spanish at Oak Ridge High School since 1982 – just two years after the school opened. Many will be sad to see her retiring at the end of May.

What do you like most about your job?

I really enjoy working with my students. I have been very fortunate to have such wonderful students. It is very rewarding to see their progress and to share my enthusiasm for learning Spanish. The students have so much energy and enthusiasm.

What were you doing earlier?

Before teaching at Oak Ridge, I spent time at home being with my two children.

What are some of the most interesting things that have happened to you?

The most interesting things that have happened to me are experiences I’ve had while living and studying in Mexico and Spain, immersing myself in the Spanish language. Those experiences have definitely enriched my life.

What are some of your favorite places to travel?

I love the Yucatan area of Mexico. I recently traveled to Switzerland and Beijing. Traveling is my passion.

What hobbies do you enjoy?

I enjoy cycling with my friends, spending time with my family, and going to Lake Tahoe.

Tell us about your family.

My late husband, Jim, was an active member of the community. He was very involved in all the childrens’ sports such as soccer and swimming. I have two adult children. Mariah (Oak Ridge High School Class of 1994) and her husband, Brandon (a fire-fighter/paramedic in Lake Tahoe) are the parents of my beautiful granddaughters. Michael (class of 1997) is the staff accountant for the San Francisco 49ers.

Of what accomplishment are you most proud?

I am the most proud of my children. They are wonderful, caring, sensitive and delightful people.

What causes are you passionate about?

I am very passionate about raising awareness and educating people about mitochondrial disease. My three granddaughters (one is 5 and the twins are 8) all have the disease. Four years ago one of my students, Addison Duane, heard about their disease and told me she wanted to do something to support the foundation that my son and late husband formed. Addison started the first MitoKids 5K Walk/Run. The first year it was held at ORHS. Because it has grown, the charity event was moved to Town Center. On April 27th we held the 4th Annual MitoKids 5K Walk/Run. It was a huge success. All proceeds earned from the walk go to help many families with out of pocket medical expenses and to the mitochondrial research project at Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital in Stanford. My family is so thankful to the adults, students and younger kids in El Dorado Hills who have participated and worked on this charity event. It truly takes a village to have such a successful fundraiser. This year there were over 400 participants, which was the most there have been.

What are some of the challenges with having a child with mitochondrial disease? There are numerous challenges with having children with mito. My daughter and her husband have 24/7 jobs of taking care of the medical needs of their daughters. They frequently travel to Stanford for their specialists’ appointments. My daughter (a former elementary school teacher) home schools the girls, as they cannot be around lots of children because their immune systems are suppressed. The list goes on and on about the medical challenges and the necessary care their daughters need.

What are some things about you people might be surprised to learn?

I grew up in New Mexico and spent my summers water skiing. I did barefoot skiing and trick skiing and even performed with the Florida Cypress Garden Water Skiers.