Lianette Santana

Lianette Santana

Santa Barbara High School teacher Lianette Santana has been recognized by the Rotary Club of Santa Barbara for her outstanding work and significant contributions to public education.

Presented to Santana on April 19, the honor is the third of such awards the Rotarians will bestow upon local educators this academic year.

Santana teaches English Language Development (ELD) and Spanish. For the past five years she has taught newcomer English-learner students at Santa Barbara High School.

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 a $1,000 check to spend on classroom needs.

“Ms. Santana is a vibrant and engaging teacher who represents teachers throughout are area with her outstanding work,” said County Superintendent of Schools Susan Salcido, whose office coordinates the recognition with the Rotary Club of Santa Barbara.

“We appreciate the support of the Rotary Club of Santa Barbara and recognition they provide to teachers. Recognitions like these are a reflection of our community that truly prioritizes education,” Salcido said.

“The Rotary Club of Santa Barbara is pleased to partner with the Santa Barbara County Education Office in recognizing the efforts of remarkable teachers like Ms. Santana,” said Matt Nehmer, chairman of the Teacher Recognition Committee of the Rotary Club of Santa Barbara.

“Rotary of Santa Barbara and Rotary International value education and all teachers who are dedicated to the young people in our communities,” he said.

“Ms. Santana is an exceptional Spanish and English Language Development teacher,” said principal Elise Simmons. “On a daily basis, she creates an environment where students are engaged with each other and the material to learn concepts, discover new connections, and practice their skills.

“In addition, she always differentiates her lessons to meet the needs of the students in her class. Thus, her classroom is full of highly engaged and motivated students. She has transformed our English Language Development program into a shining star.”

“It is very rewarding to support our newcomer students as they work to improve their English skills while adjusting to life in the U.S.,” Santana said. “As someone who has studied several languages, I know firsthand the challenges that students encounter when learning another language.

“I feel very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to teach at my alma mater and serve the students and families of our Santa Barbara community.” 

Santana graduated from Santa Barbara High in 2004. She received her B.A. in Spanish from UCSB, and a single subject-teaching credential in Spanish and Bilingual, Cross-Cultural, Language and Academic Development (BCLAD) from the UCSB Teacher Education Program.

She also holds a Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) certificate from UCSB Extension.

The Rotary Club of Santa Barbara meets for lunch, 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.

— Tracey Beauchamp for Santa Barbara County Education Office.