Andra Wilson has received Laguna Blanca’s 2021 Faculty Excellence Award.
Ms. Wilson has taught physical education, health, wellness and personal development since 2006 at the school, which has campuses in Hope Ranch in Santa Barbara and Montecito.
She also has served as assistant athletic director, P.E. coach at Camp Cito day camp and coordinator of the Middle School Advisory Program for several years.
Mostly recently, Ms. Wilson became Laguna’s Challenge Success coordinator.
“Andra infuses energy and excitement into every role she has on campus,” Laguna Blanca staff said in a news release. “Her love for health and wellness extends not only to Laguna students but to the faculty and staff as well. She was instrumental to bringing bi-weekly on-campus workouts to campus for Laguna employees through Reveal Fitness.”
During the pandemic, Ms. Wilson helped students before they were allowed back on campus. She presented 20 one-minute virtual fitness challenges that kept students and faculty healthy during the pandemic. “It was the perfect example of her athleticism and the joy she brings to teaching,” Laguna Blanca staff noted.
“This year alone, Andra stepped into a multitude of challenges and added COVID responsibilities to her plate in order to best serve her students,” said Melissa Alkire, head of the Upper School. “This was evidenced in the Middle and Upper athletic training program that she began when all other schools in the county were neither in-person nor able to maintain in-person afternoon activities for their school.
“Andra’s work across every single grade at Hope Ranch ensured that our students were finding balance and joy after their early days of remote school,” Ms. Alkire said in the news release. “When sports began, Andra supported Director of Athletics Jason Donnelly fully as he worked to unpack the COVID guidance, which was evolving each week. She was his teammate and demonstrated her strong character in this role.”
In addition, Ms. Wilson partnered with Pacific Pride Foundation to hold inclusive conversations about relationships and gender identity.
“I wish we could have an entire faculty full of Andras,” colleague Tara Broucqsault said. “She has thrived at each level at Laguna. Her pure heart inspires all those fortunate enough to call her teacher and a trusted colleague.”
Ms. Wilson grew up in Malvern, Pa., and earned a bachelor’s in health and physical education at West Chester University in West Chester, Pa. She began her career as a collegiate-certified athletic trainer before completing her Pennsylvania teacher certification in 2003.
Then she worked as a health and physical education teacher in Pennsylvania’s Central Bucks School District before moving in 2006 to Santa Barbara and teaching at Laguna Blanca School.