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Rotary Club of Santa Barbara North Honors Adams Elementary Principal, Instructional Aides

Rotary Club of Santa Barbara North members and guests with a focus on education gathered June 4 to recognize Adams Elementary School Principal Amy Alzina and three Adams instructional assistants.

Community service director Tom Jacobs introduced the ceremony by highlighting the many avenues of service provided to Adams school over the past 25 years by Rotary. The “Adams Family” program celebrates the volunteer efforts of supportive families whose efforts to give back to the Adams community mirror and support the work of Rotary volunteers.

In the classroom, Rotarian contributions include tutoring, supporting the Computers for Kids program and holding an annual Rotary themed essay contest. RCSBN supports the library by supplying books for the Rewards Program, donating a book each week to celebrate club program speaker topics, and sponsoring yearly library purchases from club donations.

RCSBN was also active on the school grounds, planting trees in honor of Arbor Day, creating planter boxes for a garden area, and funding a large play structure with a Rotary grant. In addition, club members also regularly pitch in on School Beautification Days and other school festivals.

Principal Alzina was honored as a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow and presented with a certificate and pin in commemoration. The Paul Harris Fellow recognition is the Rotary Foundation’s way of expressing its appreciation for a substantial contribution to its humanitarian and educational programs. It is named for Rotary founder Paul Harris, a Chicago lawyer who started Rotary International in 1905.

Alzina was designated to receive this recognition as a special expression of appreciation from the Rotary Club of Santa Barbara North by virtue of a $1,000 donation in her name by the club to the Rotary Foundation. Through donations such as these, the Rotary Foundation carries out an array of programs that achieve beneficial changes in our world: improved living conditions, increased food production, better education, wider availability of treatment and rehabilitation for sick and disabled, new channels for the flow of international understanding and brighter hopes for peace.

Alzina’s goal is reaching children through cultivating caring relationships built around trust and developed through work and play. Her inspirational leadership at Adams demonstrates Rotary’s motto of “Service above Self.”

At the same ceremony, three Adams staffers were also recognized and presented certificates. Special education instructional assistants Kelly Brymer and Kim Skipworth work with special-needs students to develop their ability to participate in the main stream of school activities. Their sensitive calming influence makes it possible for the students they supervise to integrate into the daily flow of school programs and educational experiences.

Transitional kindergarten instructional assistant Sonya Williams works patiently and inventively with the youngest, mostly Hispanic students to insure that they develop the reading, writing and vocabulary skills to advance into the more demanding learning environment of kindergarten.

Rotary acknowledges that every path of work is an avenue for service, and these instructional assistants exemplify unique and unsung dedication to Rotary ideals.

— Terry Straehley is the public relations director for the Rotary Club of Santa Barbara North.

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