The Santa Barbara County Education Office honored 10 educators with the 2021 Santa Barbara Teachers Federal Credit Union Crystal Apple Educator Award during a virtual celebration Thursday.
“It is an honor to celebrate the significant contributions of our distinguished Crystal Apple award recipients. Through their compassion, perseverance and efforts, these 10 individuals inspire and impact students throughout Santa Barbara County. It is our privilege to recognize each recipient with this distinctive award,” said Dr. Susan Salcido, Santa Barbara County superintendent of schools.
When choosing the winners, SBCEO looks for dedication, instructional and motivational skills, the ability to challenge and inspire students and meaningful engagement.
“We are proud to shine the spotlight on teachers, administrators and support staff by sponsoring the Crystal Apple program in partnership with SBCEO,” said Roy McLaughlin, CEO of the Santa Barbara Teachers Federal Credit Union. “These Santa Barbara County education staff provide children with an outstanding educational experience.”
Emily Schwab, a speech-language pathologist at Monroe Elementary School in Santa Barbara, won in the certificated support providers category.
“Not only is Emily charismatic, fun, and great with the kids, but she is exceptional at her job. Specializing in augmentative and alternative communication, Emily uses a variety of high- and low-tech devices to help non-verbal students find their voice,” said special education teacher Sally DeLyser, one of her nominators. “Saying that she is a pleasure to work with would be an immense understatement. She is changing lives daily and doing it all with a smile on her face.”
Rosy Bucio, a behavior specialist at the Santa Ynez Valley Consortium in Buellton, also won a Crystal Apple as a certificated support provider.
Her colleague Misty Sedehi said, “Rosy is quite honestly the ‘best in the West’ when it comes to supporting students with difficult behaviors. Not only is her experience unmatched, but the way she is able to communicate the unique behavior needs of students to an IEP team is extraordinary.
“Rosy is extremely relational, she builds strong bonds with the students, parents and staff she works with. She gets the job done and puts 200% of herself into each student she supports.”
Mari Callahan, a fourth-grade teacher at Cold Spring School in Montecito, is one of two elementary teacher recipients.
“I could write pages about how Mari inspired my son through his reluctant writing phase to become a confident, prolific author. Or how her instruction developed his number sense so that he is a more efficient mathematician than either of his parents,” fellow teacher and parent Dr. Jean Gradias said. “Those academic accomplishments are important, but the value that she places on becoming empathetic, aware, and motivated to help others is what makes her so deserving of this award.”
Elizabeth Tymn, a kindergarten and first-grade teacher at Pine Grove School in Santa Maria, was also honored.
“Ms. Tymn checks all the boxes of a great educator: engaging, prepared, knowledgeable. But she is far more than a teacher. Parents describe her as a leader, confidant, mediator, nurturer, protector, supporter, and cheerleader,” said parent Ashley Machgan. “She is welcoming to everyone and runs her classroom with an amazing attitude towards kindness and respect for all.”
Sherri Bryan, a teacher and librarian at Santa Barbara High School, received a Crystal Apple in the secondary school teacher category.
Senior Monse Z. nominated her by saying, “(She) has inspired me to branch out and push myself more than any other adult has. She is an important and well-respected figure on campus; every student has positive things to say about her. She makes the campus a better place with her extensive knowledge in multiple subjects as well as with her bright personality.”
Rebecca Ingrahm, a teacher of career technical education at Maple High School in Lompoc, was also honored.
“On days we showed her that we were not interested in learning, she did not give up on us. Instead, she tried new and innovative ways to inspire us,” wrote Samantha C., a student. “See, some of us have never been successful in school. In her classes, we started to feel like we had potential.
“I had no desire to succeed before I met this teacher. I started believing in myself and taking life seriously once I started this school and had this teacher. She reminded us that we were smart and had so much potential, but we had to work hard to become the best. She is smart and sets a great example for all of us. Without her, I would not be doing all of the amazing things I am doing.”
Carrie Alvarado, office manager at Ellwood Elementary School in Goleta, won as a classified employee.
“Carrie is best described as Superwoman! She not only runs the front office of the school like a well-oiled machine, but she is the go-to person for all staff, students, and parents,” Principal Ned Schoenwetter said. “In fact, she is the one that all other school office managers in the school district look to when they have questions or need guidance. We feel very fortunate to be able to work with such a wonderful person.”
Paloma Guerrero-Rubio, a paraprofessional at Taylor School in Santa Maria, received her Crystal Apple.
“In our program, at the Taylor Preschool Special Day School, we have many students with quite severe and daily behavioral challenges; Paloma works with exemplary true compassion guiding them through the daily routines and always mindful of their safety to themselves and other students. There have been many staff challenges we have faced this year, and I can say that Paloma has been the anchor that has held our program together,” wrote her colleague Cathy Jordan.
“The nominee exudes dedication, a strong work ethic, and, most appreciably, her positive attitude that does not complain, even when there has been much that could be complained about! Her humble dedication to her job duties and patience with our students has left a lasting impression on me, and she has inspired me to be more consistently patient and compassionate with our most challenging students as well. She is a real joy to work alongside, a true model for other paraprofessionals, and I can think of no better candidate to receive this award.”
In the administrator category, Dr. Anne Hubbard, superintendent of Hope Elementary School District in Santa Barbara, was honored.
“Dr. Anne Hubbard leads our district with an integrity that mirrors how she lives her life. It is impossible to separate the heart and compassion she brings to each,” said Nancy Lorenzen, former principal of Monte Vista School. “Anne does not save her best, most caring self for her family alone; she shares her best, most caring self with everyone in her life.
“She knows the stories of most of our students, especially those who are struggling. Anne’s compassion shows no bounds. It emanates from her core and radiates to everyone in her presence. I cannot imagine anyone as deserving as Dr. Anne Hubbard for the Crystal Apple Award.”
Dr. John Karbula, the former assistant superintendent of business services at Lompoc Unified School District, enters retirement with a Crystal Apple.
“The first thing that comes to mind when working with John is the ‘how can we support you and your students’ phrase. As the assistant superintendent of business services, he meets with his site administrators and district support staff frequently to ensure the focus remains on the student’s needs in the classroom, and funding should be utilized where it hits the most students,” said his former coworker Paul Bommersbach. “Even though he is not in a classroom, student achievement remains the goal, so he continuously reminds us of that when looking at our site budget.”