Spotlight

Sandi Redenbach

BA '72, Cred. '73

Portrait of Sandi Redenbach

Sandi Redenbach knows all teachers want to excel at their art, and she believes preparation and a commitment to serving the most challenging students are keys to great teaching. That is why she has established an endowment in the School of Education to support pre-service and in-service teachers.

Sandi Redenbach knows all teachers want to excel at their art, and she believes preparation and a commitment to serving the most challenging students are keys to great teaching. That is why she has established an endowment in the School of Education to support pre-service and in-service teachers.

“UC Davis did an excellent job of preparing me for the classroom over 30 years ago,” said Redenbach. “And since the School of Education was established, I have been even more impressed with the quality of teacher preparation and the direction in which the School is going. I wanted to do something tangible to support it. This is the perfect time for me to give back.”

With a $50,000 gift, Redenbach established the Sandi Redenbach “Students At Promise Award” for teaching credential and master’s degree candidates. “At Promise” (a play on “at risk”) expresses Redenbach’s goal of encouraging School of Education students who are committed to improving education for those at risk of not succeeding in school. The award also recognizes the importance of teachers who act as advocates for their students. The first Redenbach Award will be for a student entering this fall.

Redenbach knows a lot about at-risk students; she was a high school dropout herself. “It is so important for teachers to stretch outside the box because, even though kids may look like they aren’t going to make it, you never know and you must never give up on them,” said Redenbach. “I know the power a teacher can have because one caring teacher made me believe I could succeed.”

Redenbach received her teaching credential in 1973. She has played a number of roles in education since, always with a focus on recognizing and encouraging the best in her students. After 15 years of teaching junior high and high school in Woodland, she founded the Woodland Joint Unified Independent Learning Center in 1988. After 20 years, the Center continues to serve Woodland students enrolled in independent study.

The Center, initially funded through a federal grant, serves at-risk youth. Redenbach’s grant application was one of only eight in the country to be funded. During her tenure, the Center graduated more than 80 students who would have otherwise dropped out of high school.

“Our philosophy is to give students a last chance to succeed using a very personal connection to shepherd them through the process. We ask the students to open their package of gifts, to believe in themselves, and to hold on to an attitude of ‘I can do this,’” said Redenbach. “It is crucial to me that the program holds students to high expectations and that they complete the same requirements as any other high school student in order to receive a diploma.”

Over the course of her career, Redenbach has also become an expert in training teachers how to apply principles of brain research, emotional intelligence, learning/personality styles, and self-esteem to better reach students and provide them with the tools to excel. She is the author of several articles and books, including Self-Esteem and Emotional Intelligence: The Necessary Ingredients for Success and Autobiography of a Drop-out: Dear Diary. She also provides staff development workshops on these topics throughout North America and other parts of the world.

“I want teachers to be emotionally intelligent, to teach from the heart and to embrace the goodness in their students,” said Redenbach. The “Students At Promise” endowment ensures that this message will reach future generations of teachers. . 

Log in

Commands