Garon Stradley Smith died August 17.
She was a teacher for many years in UNCG’s Child Care Education Program (CCEP), as well as an instructor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies.
Stradley was a true Spartan, earning two degrees from UNCG – a BFA in design and an M.Ed through the Birth through Kindergarten Interdisciplinary Studies in Education and Development Program.
She began her work at CCEP in 1996, where she was known as a caring and skilled preschool teacher. When she joined the faculty of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies in 2006, she served as the student teaching coordinator, guiding many UNCG students as they earned their teaching licensures.
Colleagues observed that Stradley built strong relationships with her students, as she acted as both a course instructor and mentor who provided individualized encouragement to each and every student. Stradley was also deeply committed to promoting principles of diversity, equity and inclusion, modeling acceptance of all children, families, students and faculty, and challenging her students to apply the same principles in their teaching.
She is remembered for her generous, artistic spirit and for her commitment to young children and their teachers.