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For Goleta’s Finest Teacher of the Year Ina Ettenberg, Education Has Been a Lifelong Love

Enthusiasm for helping children blossom as students fueled newly retired El Camino School teacher’s career

Although Ina Ettenberg recently retired after 30 years at El Camino School in the Goleta Union School District, her career has been a labor of love. “When I have a child who is struggling and they start to be confident, it makes me feel that I have made a difference,” she says.
Although Ina Ettenberg recently retired after 30 years at El Camino School in the Goleta Union School District, her career has been a labor of love. “When I have a child who is struggling and they start to be confident, it makes me feel that I have made a difference,” she says. (Jim Pigato / El Camino School photo)

[Click here for a related Noozhawk story.]

Ina Ettenberg, a teacher in the Goleta Union School District for 30 years, was this year’s recipient of the Goleta’s Finest Teacher of the Year award.

Ettenberg taught first grade through sixth grade at El Camino School, 5020 San Simeon Drive. Her last day of teaching was Nov. 18. 

She grew up in Montreal, Canada, and attended McGill University, earning a bachelor’s degree in Education. She later attended UC Santa Barbara for her masters degree.

Ettenberg says she wanted to become a teacher because her mother was one and her mother was her role model.

For Ettenberg, being a teacher means to touch a child’s life and, hopefully, help them blossom into the best person they can be.

“I come to school every day because it makes me feel happy and fulfilled,” she told Noozhawk.

Ettenberg had wanted to be a teacher since she was a child.

“I would line up my dolls and stuffed animals and teach them,” she said.

She said her favorite part of teaching is “working with children and finding a way to be able to read and take a risk in reading something different.”

“When I have a child who is struggling and they start to be confident, it makes me feel that I have made a difference,” she added.

Ettenberg was presented with the Teacher of the Year award during the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce’s annual Goleta’s Finest banquet Nov. 19 at Bacara Resort & Spa.

Noozhawk intern Ethan Rivas is a student at Santa Barbara Middle School and a former student of Mrs. Ettenberg’s. He can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Ina and Aaron Ettenberg at the the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce’s recent Goleta’s Finest banquet at Bacara Resort & Spa. Click to view larger
Ina and Aaron Ettenberg at the the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce’s recent Goleta’s Finest banquet at Bacara Resort & Spa. (Jay Farbman photo)

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