[heading]by JENNIFER FRAKES | photos by Zeena Gregg Photography[/heading]

Carla Carter, Shoal Creek Elementary School’s Volunteer of the Year, is a fixture on campus playing a large role in the Running Club, a member of the PTA Executive Board, and a fundraiser for the Shoal Creek Educational Foundation. It all began when her youngest daughter started kindergarten at Shoal Creek. “There was an opening for the school’s Running Club Chair. I thought it would be a fabulous way to incorporate two of my favorite things: running and helping kids,” stated Carla. According to Carla, the program had been operating successfully for years, but she wanted to put her own spin on it. With the help of the Running Club committee, she incorporated motivating music and statistical tracking systems to award participation. In fact, Carla and the committee even developed a team that participates in both competitive and noncompetitive running events in the community.

For Carla, running is a therapeutic sport that clears her mind, releases tension and gets her day off to a great start. She loves that her position as Running Club Chair has allowed her to share these benefits of the sport with Shoal Creek students. She is also glad that her daughters have been inspired by her volunteerism at the school. “I tell Adrianna and Maddalena that if giving their time and heart to support a cause they believe in can make a difference in just one person’s life, then do it. They both give back by volunteering at a local animal shelter and a local food bank,” related Carla.

Carla and her husband, Louis, have been married for 15 years, and she proudly states that he is serving his 14th year in the U.S. Navy. Carla also revealed that she herself served two years in the Navy as a Nuclear Electrician. When the family moved to Carmel Mountain Ranch from Virginia about four years ago, they fell in love with the area and with the Shoal Creek community. “Carmel Mountain is full of places I love to hang out. Panera is a great place to meet friends, and when the kids and I have a ton of energy to use up we head to the Sabre Springs Recreation Center,” said Carla. When she’s not running or helping with the upcoming 11th Annual Parents’ Night Out fundraiser for Shoal Creek, she enjoys reading mystery novels, making crafts, and having great conversations with friends, many of whom are fellow Shoal Creek parents.

[box title=”At A Glance” Color=”#333333″]

Name: Carla Carter

Age: 33

Community: Carmel Mountain Ranch

Occupation: Sales and Community Liaison at Mark Schneider Design Company in Long Beach, CA

Family: Husband, Louis; Oldest Daughter, Adrianna; Youngest Daughter, Maddalena[/box]