Geri Cloud, 2013 Recipient of the Karl Smith Servant-Oriented Leadership Award
The award, issued each year in February, goes to a faculty member who has demonstrated the hallmarks of Dr. Smith’s work with Concordia Portland: exceptional service to students through their work as a faculty member.
Geri Cloud joined Concordia University-Portland as an online Faculty member in September 2010 and has successfully taught courses in the MEd Curriculum & Instruction ESOL concentration. Geri is a model of servant-oriented service to our graduate students, providing a supportive learning environment for each and every student and a continuing commitment to justice, compassion and moral integrity. In addition to her teaching at Concordia Portland, Geri is the Child Find and 504 Coordinator at the Heritage Elementary School in Glendale, Arizona, where she previously served as principal for three years.
Her background demonstrates the servant leadership her career has exemplified. She taught at the Catholic University of Ponce in Puerto Rico and then became a preschool teacher in El Paso, Texas, where she also drove the school bus and played the organ for church services. On a Navajo reservation, Geri taught Zuni and Navajo children in a Navajo community school. She led English tutoring classes for Navajo college students while earning her master of bilingual/multicultural education. She served as director/head teacher of an international preschool in Pennsylvania and as a substitute teacher in Tucson, Arizona, a job that developed into a long-term position teaching emotionally disturbed students, and a part-time reading instructor position at Pima Community College.
Geri has worked as a researcher/trainer/coordinator for a national project on Native American college students in Southern and Central Arizona and served as a consultant and interviewer of Native American students on a research project in the Department of Child and Human Development at the University of Arizona. After earning superintendent and principal certifications, she held a school administrator position in rural southeastern Arizona and ran twice for the political position of county school superintendent.
She returned to Tucson, where she was vocational education coordinator for Goodwill Industries and a child development advisor (CDA) for Central Arizona College for certification of Head Start teachers. Geri was the preschool director for Tucson Metropolitan Ministries’ four preschools in Tucson, Douglas and Rillito, and the education manager for American Red Cross. She served as principal of a middle school on the White Mountain Apache reservation then returned to Tucson to the inner city Tucson Urban League Charter School as coordinator of faculty, special education, and testing; and, finally, as superintendent/principal of a small rural school district, she built a school in Kingman, Arizona.
We are pleased to recognize Geri’s lifetime commitment to the ideals that Dr. Karl Smith represented in his teaching at Concordia Portland: exceptional service to and grace shown in all of her teaching here. Congratulations, Geri!