Friday, November 16 , 2018, 6:18 am | Fair 47º


Montecito Union Principal Kris Bergstrom Top Honoree at School Ceremony

She receives three Honorary Service Awards and the coveted Golden Award Award

Kris Bergstrom, who has been principal for eight years at Montecito Union School, stole the spotlight at the school’s annual award ceremony by winning three Honorary Service Awards, including its most prestigious honor, the Golden Oak Award, by a landslide.

“Never in the school’s history has a person won more than one award,” Montecito Union PTA President Tracy Conway said. “We are proud and grateful to be blessed with such an extraordinary leader for our principal. It’s an honor to be nominated for one award, but Ms. Bergstrom has swept three PTA awards by a landslide. Votes come from the parents, teachers, students and alumni of Montecito Union School. The awards Kris is receiving speak volumes that she is respected and held in high-esteem by the entire MUS community. Ms. Bergstrom is treasured as the principal and well loved.”

Sixth-grade leadership students presented a fourth award to Bergstrom for outstanding leadership and dedication. The leadership award came with a musical “Simply the Best” Tina Turner Hallmark card to which Bergstrom briefly danced. The moves were definitely a crowd-pleaser, as the nearly 400 in attendance cheered her on and gave Bergstrom a standing ovation with thunderous applause.

“This is a great honor, and a wonderful way to finish eight terrific years,” Bergstrom said. “This is a great school. It always has been and always will be, and I am proud to be associated with Montecito Union.”

During Bergstrom’s tenure, she has ushered in a cutting edge new “Thinking Curriculum” schoolwide; hosted an “Educational Summit” of like-minded schools; and has been a sensitive advocate for full inclusion of special-needs students.

She is an educator. Under her tenure, Montecito Union’s API ranking is a solid 10. This year, Bergstrom championed the Montecito Educational Foundation’s drive to raise funds so that all teachers who want to will receive advanced training at Harvard this summer. She also worked directly with the PTA fundraising efforts that support more than $70,000 for teacher’s grants in all grade levels.

“The PTA’s awards reflect Ms. Bergstrom’s ability to excel at opposite ends of the spectrum: She’s visionary, yet is great at hands-on. She is a critical thinker, yet a people person. She is serious about her profession, yet she has the best sense of humor,” Conway said when presenting the Golden Oak Award.

“Kris Bergstrom has shown great leadership at Montecito Union School and throughout the greater Santa Barbara community. She guides children, teachers and parents with purpose, grace and integrity,” said Carrie Haffner, PTA Vice President of Programs. “It would be difficult to find another woman as wonderful and dynamic as Kris in an entire lifetime.”

Students were also honored in a number of categories, including art, music, math, reading, physical fitness and attendance.

“Every day is all about the kids, and that’s what makes this place special and that’s what makes our profession special that whatever we do as parent volunteers or teachers or administrators, it’s all about the kids,” Bergstrom said. “Montecito has a motto, ‘Together we are better,’ and that’s what happens here, and I think that’s what happens at every good school.”

In addition to the prestigious Golden Oak Award, Bergstrom received honors for honorary service and continuing service.

— Tracy Conway is president of the Montecito Union School PTA.

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