The Santa Barbara County Education Office honored teachers Bill Gourley and Miguel Guerra with the 2021 Marvin Melvin Career Technical Educator Award, the office announced Monday.
Mr. Gourley teaches woodshop at Goleta Valley Junior High, and Mr. Guerra instructs agriculture at Ernest Righetti High School in Santa Maria.
“Career technical education is an important facet of the educational program, and we are proud to recognize Bill Gourley and Miguel Guerra for their passion and commitment to providing students hands-on, engaging learning and valuable skill development,” Dr. Susan Salcido, Santa Barbara County Superintendent of Schools, said in a news release.
Mr. Gourley’s nominators emphasized his knowledge of woodworking and industrial technology and his student-centric teaching.
“Mr. Gourley helps beautify the school and provides a positive school culture. Students immediately benefit from all of the intangible qualities he brings to our school and prepares students for the various career technical pathways the high schools have to offer,” nominators wrote.
Mr. Guerra’s nominating team lauded his curriculum development, leading Allan Hancock College to approve Righetti’s agriculture courses for concurrent enrollment college credit.
“Even after 20 years, he still gives his own time above and beyond what is expected, every single day. Miguel’s unwavering passion for teaching and continuous improvement is evident. He is highly respected by students, staff, and community members, and we believe he is the perfect candidate to receive this award,” they wrote.
The award is presented in partnership with Frank Schipper Construction and the TRADART Foundation.
The award was established in 1999 in honor of Frank Schipper’s high school metal shop teacher, Marvin Melvin.
— Annelise Hanshaw