The Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber Of Commerce celebrated the Carpinteria community with its 63rd Annual Community Awards Gala March 12 at the Rincon Beach Club.
This event recognized award winners for both 2020 and 2021, to make up for the gala’s absence during the last two years due to the pandemic.
The Community Awards Gala honors individuals whose contributions have enhanced Carpinteria.
The gale included the announcements for the 2020 and 2021 Carpinterians of the Year.
Beth Cox was celebrated as the 2020 honoree for her fundraising and volunteer efforts, supporting organizations such as the American Cancer Society, the Rotary Club of Carpinteria Morning, the new Carpinteria Skate Park, the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, the Carpinteria Children’s Project, Girls Inc. of Carpinteria, The Alcazar Theatre, Carpinteria Education Foundation, Carpinteria Boys & Girls Club, and the Lynda Fairly Art Center. She quickly put her skills to use during the pandemic, through her work with the 93013 Fund and adding the Paddle Out component to the Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.
Clyde Freeman, the 2021 Carpinterian of the Year, was honored for his many positions among community organizations, including roles as president, board member, committee member, fundraiser and volunteer for organizations including Carpinteria Education Foundation, Carpinteria Valley Chamber of Commerce, Carpinteria Beautiful, Girls Inc., Carpinteria Arts Center and the Carpinteria Valley Historical Museum.
In addition, during his tenure with Montecito Bank and Trust, he guided many local nonprofits into being recipients of the bank’s annual $1 million fund distribution.
Other honorees at the gala included Educators of the Year: Ryan Ethington, Carolyn Haines and Kate Guede.
Mr. Ethington was recognized as the 2020 Secondary School Educator. As the Carpinteria Middle School art teacher, Mr. Ethington has also been an adjunct professor at Westmont College, teaching art principles and art for children and adolescence.
Working with young artists has inspired him to pursue work with nonprofits and communities.
Ms. Haines was recognized as the 2021 Elementary School Educator. She earned her master’s degree in education and began substitute teaching in Carpinteria, where she fell in love with the elementary classroom and students. She earned her multiple subject teaching credential and now teaches at Canalino School.
Ms. Guede was recognized as the 2021 Secondary School Educator. For the past 16 years, she has taught Spanish and AVID at Carpinteria High School.
She is one of four AVID teachers at CHS, a program designed to support first-generation college students to pursue an education beyond high school. She has also served as department chair and adviser for the California Scholastic Federation.
The chamber announced Eduardo Vences from Carpinteria High School as the Junior Carpinterian of the Year. He is a true scholar with a 4.5-plus GPA and has been president of Spanish Club, president of Celebrating Adversity, Diversity and Education and president of Future Leaders of America.
Eduardo has taken part in both track and field and cross country teams throughout his high school career and was named Most Valuable player for both.
The Junior Carpinterian of the Year Scholarship finalists included Kate Cooney and Sierra Mayoral, both Carpinteria High School students. Each will each receive $1,500 scholarships.