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Cirone Heart of Education Award Goes to Marjie Ledgerwood

Honored teacher shows passion, compassion for students

Teacher Marjie Ledgerwood with retired Santa Barbara County Superintendent Bill Cirone.
Teacher Marjie Ledgerwood with retired Santa Barbara County Superintendent Bill Cirone. (County Schools)

Special education teacher Marjie Ledgerwood was named the winner of the first Bill Cirone Heart of Education Award, the Santa Barbara County Education Office announced during an assembly Monday, April 30, at Lompoc High School.

Ledgerwood, a Lompoc native and graduate of Lompoc High School, works with students who have moderate to severe disabilities, and is a coach for girls sports teams at Lompoc High School.

She also is the founder and adviser of the Project Unify Club at LHS, which was established in February 2016. The Project Unify Club is based on a Special Olympics program that brings together students enrolled in both special and general education classes for athletic competitions.

The award, named after retired Santa Barbara County Superintendent Bill Cirone, recognizes an outstanding educator who demonstrates passion for the profession, creativity, and compassion for students, the same virtues Cirone championed and celebrated during his 34 years in office.

“This is a very special day for us, and I cannot think of a more deserving educator than Marjie to receive this award,” said Cirone, who, with his wife Barbara, was on hand at the assembly to present the award to Ledgerwood

“She is a real community gem — a homegrown teacher-hero who inspires her students and her community with her passion, innovation, and vision. We join Lompoc High and Lompoc Unified School District in thanking her for all that she does. Her work truly makes a difference,” he said.

“Marjie has been a strong advocate for special education student full inclusion not only at Lompoc High School, but also in the district,” said Lompoc Unified Superintendent Trevor McDonald.

“She’s doing so by deliberately building strong relationships with content area teachers in an effort to fully include special education students in their courses,” McDonald said.

“Bill Cirone has always advocated strongly for all students and teachers; his compassion was on display every day he served as county superintendent of schools," said County Superintendent of Schools Susan Salcido.

"Marjie’s career has embodied the very same qualities Bill stood for. We are so proud to recognize Marjie as our first Bill Cirone Heart of Education Award recipient,” Salcido said.

The Heart of Education recognition brings with it a small cash award for the honoree. To make a contribution to this endowment campaign, make checks payable to the Santa Barbara County Education Office Teachers Network; write “Heart of Education” in the memo line.

One hundred percent of contributions will go to the annual award.

— David J. Lawrence for Santa Barbara County Education Office.


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