Tuesday, March 20 , 2018, 12:47 pm | Mostly Cloudy 63º


Santa Barbara District Honoring Teachers, Staff with ‘Night of Stars’

After graduating from UC Santa Barbara, Hozby Galindo looked to start his teaching career in Fresno, but despite the job offers he received, it just wasn’t for him.

It was only upon returning to Santa Barbara that the math teacher found his calling at La Cumbre Junior High School, where he’s finishing up his 12th year as a Lancer.

“It’s a lot of fun, to be honest with you,” he told Noozhawk.

As part of the Santa Barbara Unified School District’s third annual Night of Stars celebration, Galindo will be receiving a special-recognition award.

He was one of the recipients of last year’s awards, said Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Mitch Torina, and was subsequently chosen to represent the district for this year’s Santa Barbara County Teacher of the Year.

“We looked at him, we looked at all of our teachers, and at a cabinet level, we decided to send Hozby to the county for the Teacher of the Year nomination for the county,” Torina told Noozhawk.

The closed-door celebration is Wednesday at the Cabrillo Arts Pavilion.

“The (Mathematics) Department has changed over the last 12 years, but at the end of the day, it continues to be a family,” Galindo said. “That’s the feel that we have when we work together.

“The students are amazing, the department is amazing, the administration is very supportive. It’s a great place to be.”

Also receiving special recognition is district Superintendent David Cash, who is retiring July 10.

His recognition, Torina said, honors “what we feel he’s brought to the district in his five-year tenure as superintendent.”

Cash initiated a new restorative justice model for student discipline and initiated a one-to-one student iPad pilot program. He has led efforts to switch to the local control funding formula and update the district’s strategic plan.

“He’s also the one who actually began the idea of us honoring our own,” Torina said. “We’re going to recognize him for that type of work acknowledgement and express our gratitude as a district to him for that.”

Aside from his leadership and list of accomplishments, Cash is known for an ambitious set of goals he has laid out for the district, which encompasses 13 elementary schools, four junior high schools and five high schools.

Cash sought to foster technology-oriented learning environments, culturally-proficient classrooms, and the implementation of new content standards for English, math and science.

More than 40 other teachers and staff will be honored at the Wednesday event. 

Each school in the district, Torina said, nominated a teacher and a member of the staff for exemplary work, whether it’s instruction, maintaining the facilities, or feeding the students.

With more than a decade of teaching under his belt, Galindo knows the feeling of having years of effort fly under the radar.

“To all the young teachers, my heart goes out to them,” he said.

“Because I know when I was a brand-new teacher, I wondered why nobody recognized my hard work, because I thought I was giving 120 percent and I was working harder than a lot of other people. But my heart goes out to all the new teachers that I know work really hard and are looking to get this type of recognition.

“At the end of the day, it’s not necessarily about us. It’s about the students.”

Noozhawk staff writer Sam Goldman 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.

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