Tuesday, March 20 , 2018, 1:33 pm | A Few Clouds 61º


Local Educators Recognized at Annual Education Celebration

More than 260 teachers, business leaders, educators and supporters were on hand Thursday at the annual Education Celebration, where local business partners including QAD Inc., Venoco Inc., Frank Schipper Construction Co., the Tradart Foundation and the Santa Barbara Teachers Federal Credit Union recognized local educators in an event organized by the Teachers Network program of the Santa Barbara County Education Office.

Held at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott in Buellton, the Education Celebration was an opportunity to applaud the educators who received the QAD TeachNet Technology Grants; Venoco Inc. Crystal Apple Educator Awards; the Marvyn Melvin Career Technical Educator Awards sponsored by the Frank Schipper Construction Co. and the Tradart Foundation; California Distinguished Schools honors from the state Department of Education; and the 2014 Santa Barbara County Teacher of the Year, chosen through a review process coordinated by SBCEO.

QAD has sponsored the TeachNet Technology Grant program for the past 14 years, supporting teachers who use technology in creative and effective ways to increase student achievement.

“QAD Inc., a leading global software company headquartered in Santa Barbara, is committed to supporting the communities in which its employees work,” said Murray Ray, the company’s senior vice president and chief people officer. “QAD’s Community Involvement goal is to provide assistance that is consistent with the QAD core values of partnership with our customers, commitment to excellence, innovation, global teamwork, integrity, and respect for the individual. Our support for the community is focused on funding nonprofit organizations at the intersection of children, education and technology. QAD is committed to its sponsorship of the SBCEO TeachNet Technology Grant program, which rewards teachers for technology innovation in the classroom.”

Venoco Inc. has long partnered with the SBCEO to recognize educators and their remarkable contributions with the Venoco Inc. Crystal Apple Educator Awards. Each year deserving educators are celebrated for their specific roles in making a difference in the lives of students across the county.

The Venoco Inc. Crystal Apple Educator Awards are given each year to five North County and five South County educators. Categories include elementary teacher, secondary teacher, certificated support provider, classified employee, and administrator.

Ray Patton, teacher at Santa Ynez Valley Union High School in Santa Ynez, and Amir Abo-Shaeer, teacher at Dos Pueblos High School in Santa Barbara, were named Marvyn Melvin Career Technical Educators, an award sponsored by the Frank Schipper Construction Co. and Tradart Foundation. Both vocational teachers were recognized for their contributions to educating students who seek viable and rewarding career options after high school graduation.

Santa Barbara County’s 2013 Distinguished Schools, Jonata Middle School and Orcutt Junior High, were recognized for their outstanding improvements in narrowing the achievement gap with signature practices that have helped to increase student test scores.

Kelly Choi, 2014 Santa Barbara County Teacher of the Year, who teaches math and directs The Academy at Dos Pueblos High School, was also highlighted.

— Dave Bemis is the communications director for the Santa Barbara County Education Office.

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