Monday, December 18 , 2017, 10:00 am | Fair 54º


Rotary Club Recognizes Santa Barbara Charter School Teacher

Education director Laura Donner: "Children feel seen and heard by Bev [Abrams], and respond positively to her as their teacher."

Mike Bieza, left, of Rotary Club of Santa Barbara; award-winner Bev Abrams; and Laura Donner of Santa Barbara Charter School.
Mike Bieza, left, of Rotary Club of Santa Barbara; award-winner Bev Abrams; and Laura Donner of Santa Barbara Charter School. (Santa Barbara County Education Office)

The Rotary Club of Santa Barbara has recognized Santa Barbara Charter School’s Bev Abrams for her demonstrated excellence and significant contributions to public education.

It is the first of four such awards the Rotarians will present to area educators this academic year.

Abrams is one of the founders of Santa Barbara Charter School. She is in her 25th year on the school’s faculty. For most of those years she served as a primary teacher and the director of education.

Presently, Abrams is the Learning Center specialist and works with students in grades one through five who are struggling with academics or behavior.

Since 1986, the Rotary Club of Santa Barbara 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 $1,000 to spend on classroom needs.

“We appreciate the vision and commitment of the Rotary Club of Santa Barbara in making annual awards that recognize the contributions of outstanding teachers, while providing resources that enable them to enrich their classroom environments,” said County Superintendent of Schools Susan Salcido.

Salcido's office coordinates the recognition with the Rotary Club of Santa Barbara.

“Our teachers are second to none, and they do so much every single day on behalf of students and families," Salcido said. "Teachers like Bev Abrams are community treasures.”

“The Rotary Club of Santa Barbara is committed to supporting the Santa Barbara County Education Office, and it gives us great pleasure to recognize the efforts of outstanding teachers like Bev Abrams,” said Mike Bieza, 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 Bev have a tremendous impact on their students, who one day will be the leaders of our community,” he said.

“Bev Abrams is a visionary leader who understands the value of teacher-powered schools, and embraces the whole child in her approach to education,” said Laura Donner, the school’s director of education.

“She brings out the best in all who work with her, as she capitalizes on each individual’s strengths and talents," Donner said.

"Children feel seen and heard by Bev, and respond positively to her as their teacher.

"Her guiding principle, whether she is working with children, parents, or staff members, is that the most valuable thing a teacher can do is to be kind,” Donner said.

Abrams earned her undergraduate degree from UCLA, and her master of arts in human development from Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena.

Before coming to Santa Barbara Charter School, Abrams served as a teacher, counselor and administrator in a variety of settings with students ranging from preschoolers to graduate students.

“Children learn all the time and everywhere,” Abrams said. “It is essential to give students the opportunity to construct meaning by interacting with materials, texts and other people.

"School should give students the opportunity to participate in democracy, as well as to learn about democracy. I’m grateful to have found a career that is both her vocation and avocation,” she said.

Rotary Club of Santa Barbara meets at Fess Parker’s Doubletree Resort in Santa Barbara for lunch from noon-1:30 p.m. 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.

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

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