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Rotary Club of Santa Barbara Honors Special-Ed Teacher Leslie MacDougall

The downtown Rotary Club of Santa Barbara selected Leslie MacDougall as its outstanding special education teacher of the year. MacDougall teaches at Franklin Elementary School in the Santa Barbara Unified School District.

Since 1986, the club has honored outstanding teachers from South Coast schools each year. It awards a high school, junior high, elementary and special-education teacher with a certificate and a $1,000 check to spend on classroom needs.

MacDougall was recognized at the club’s luncheon meeting on Oct. 24.

“This kind of continuing support for local educators is priceless,” said Santa Barbara County Superintendent of Schools Bill Cirone, whose office coordinates the recognition with the Rotary Club of Santa Barbara. “Showcasing the exemplary efforts of classroom teachers makes a special impact on students and their schools. The annual Rotary awards provide recognition and resources for outstanding teachers to enhance the classroom experience.”

“The Rotary Club of Santa Barbara is committed to supporting the Santa Barbara County Education Office, and honoring excellent local teachers like Leslie MacDougall,” said Brian Sarvis, chairman of the Teacher Recognition Committee of the Rotary Club of Santa Barbara. “Rotary of Santa Barbara and Rotary International members know that educators like Leslie MacDougall are shaping our local youth into successful citizens who will be our future community leaders. Her passion for education is an inspiration to all in our great community.”

“Leslie is an outstanding educator,” said Casie Killgore, principal of Franklin Elementary School. “She is always seeking opportunities to take her craft to the next level. In addition, Leslie is always collaborating with outside organizations to provide a richer experience for all her students. Leslie cares deeply about her students and makes a point of contacting each family at the beginning of school to introduce herself and inform the parents/guardians that she is always available to support their son or daughter.

“Leslie has volunteered to be on several school committees, which shows her commitment to ensure that all students, not just her students, at Santa Barbara Junior High School will have an outstanding experience academically, socially and emotionally. I feel very honored to work with Leslie and I feel grateful that she is providing an incredible educational experience for the students at Franklin Elementary School.”

“My educational belief is that we must have high expectations, use multi-sensory techniques consistently, and always teach with a sense of humor,” MacDougall said. When asked to describe herself as an educator she replied, “relentless.”

“It is that persistence that is the key to her success,” Sarvis said. “Leslie uses all of her resources to get students to learn, and is simply relentless, building on their own successes until they view themselves as accomplished learners.”

MacDougall has been a special-education teacher for students in grades two through five at Franklin Elementary School for 14 years. Prior to her work there, she worked in both the Hope School District and the Santa Barbara Unified School District in the areas of speech, art and special education.

She and her husband, Peter, are parents of three and have 10 grandchildren.

The Rotary Club of Santa Barbara meets at Fess Parker’s Doubletree Resort in Santa Barbara for lunch from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Fridays. Recipients of the club’s Teacher Recognition Awards are made with the assistance of the Teacher Programs and Support Department of the Santa Barbara County Education Office.

For more information, click here or click here.

— Kris Bergstrom is the communications director for the Santa Barbara County Education Office.

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