Honoring Excellence in Education
The Santa Cruz Education Foundation is pleased to present the 2009 Eddy Award winners. Through these first annual Eddy Awards, the Foundation allows the community to recognize the outstanding effort made daily by our dedicated educators, staff and parents. More than 100 pages of nominations from parents, students, staff and community members were received, each with moving testimonials (excerpted below) describing how these dedicated individuals have touched the lives of our students and created success in our schools. The Eddy Awards provide us the opportunity to reflect on the many unsung heroes throughout our district who are devoted to educating the children of Santa Cruz City Schools.
Awards will be presented at the Santa Cruz City Schools Board of Trustees meeting on May 27, 2009 at Branciforte Middle School. Please join us in honoring the 2009 Eddy Award winners:
Teacher of the Year, K-3: Judy Flora, Westlake Elementary School, First Grade
If you stand outside her door at 2:10 p.m. and listen, you will hear the loud, proud and accomplished voices of first graders fully immersed and engaged with their activity. As a parent it is a joy…Students rise to Judy’s high expectations…I feel extremely fortunate that both of my children got to spend their first grade year in Ms. Flora’s classroom. I am sure that there are multiple generations of students and parents from Westlake and Natural Bridges Schools that feel the same way…Her concern for each student is apparent and appreciated…Judy’s famous motto is, “Teachers do headstands on Fridays,” and she does, every week.
Teacher of the Year; 4-5: Jeanette Leglu, DeLaveaga Elementary School, Fourth Grade
All three of my children regard her as an unforgettable teacher and mentor who truly cares about them and will continue to be interested in their lives as they become contributing members of the Santa Cruz community…Students, parents and fellow colleagues have agreed that Jeanette is an extraordinary teacher who gives outstanding effort, genuine caring and support to her job as a teacher in this community.
Teacher of the Year; 6-8: Wendy Thompson, Branciforte Middle School, Eighth Grade Core
She is a great leader in her classroom… Wendy truly understands her students, cares for them and puts in the extra time it takes to make each student’s experience and learning the best it can be… listening to my teenagers discuss school, I actually hear them talking about subjects they are studying in Wendy’s classroom… wanting to think about “school” and “learning” when they are outside of school.
Teacher of the Year; 9-12: Stuart Kumaishi, Santa Cruz High School, Math Academy
Stuart Kumaishi created Math Academy, a superb, accelerated integrated math program at Santa Cruz High School that prepares students to succeed in math and science in high school and beyond… Stuart challenges students in ways that build competence and confidence for a lifetime. Moreover, Stuart is always learning, focusing on ways to make his teaching more effective including incorporating technology such as a smart board and clickers, which allow in vivo demonstrations and illustrations, problem solutions and inclusive student responses.
Teacher of the Year; 9-12/Honorable Mention: Robyn Miranda, Soquel High School Humanities Academy
Robyn is a demanding teacher who asks the best from her students, while giving them the necessary tools to be able to function well in a college or work environment. Robyn was instrumental in the founding of the highly regarded Humanities Academy.
Unsung Hero; Staff: Steve Arnold, Mission Hill Middle School Campus Supervisor
Mr. A takes extra care to get to know the students and they all feel comfortable with him and most importantly, because he shows them respect, they respect him. Being thoughtful and considerate of middle school age children is not an easy task (ask any parent!) and Mr. A tackles it with enthusiasm and integrity… When Mr. A left MHMS to serve our country in the military, we were all very proud of him, but he was sorely missed.. we feel so fortunate that he chooses to be part of our school community. Fins up!
Unsung Hero; Parent: Eddie Ray Garcia, Harbor High School
This hero has worked for many years to develop funding sources for the sports and arts programs at Harbor. His personal vision and networking efforts have established annual traditions that bring our school community together by putting “fun” into fundraising. Eddie Ray always has a positive, can-do attitude toward getting the task at hand done… Parent participation is critical in supporting and shaping young peoples’ lives… he serves as a positive role model for parents to continue to engage and stay active in their students’ lives.
Green Award: Lynn Barry, Santa Cruz City Schools Purchasing Manager
Lynn Barry has single-handedly saved the district hundreds of thousands of dollars and lightened our environment footprint by researching and buying the greenest products available… She was a leader in our effort to go green before the Green Schools committee began, and has been a star contributor ever since.
Wellness Award: Integrated Wellness Policy (Policy Number 5030)
The adoption of the Wellness Policy sets the framework for the promotion of a healthy community through curriculum, nutrition, physical education and staff awareness. From the policy: The educational mission of the Santa Cruz City School District includes improving the health and wellness in our community by teaching students to establish and maintain life-long healthy eating and physical activity habits… No student in the Santa Cruz City School district will go hungry while in school…
Innovation Award: Dan Cavanaugh, Principal, Bay View Elementary School
For several years, many Bay View students have participated in “Intervention Through Enrichment”. Dan Cavanaugh had a vision of what was possible for students, and then he turned that vision into a reality. Dan’s strategy was to focus on English learners and students with a lower socio-economic background, who usually have not had a wide depth and variety of educational experiences outside of the school setting. Participation was open and voluntary. Dan helped our students develop a sense of competence and self-confidence as he opened their eyes to new possibilities. A true teacher and leader, Dan personally taught small groups and by challenging students to do their best, imagine for themselves what was possible… as a result Bay View is one of few schools in California to exit Program Improvement status.
Innovation Award/Honorable Mention: Costanoa Cafe
Costanoa High School students grow organic food in their Life Lab garden and create healthy meals to sell to fellow students and staff and through their catering program. This is a perfect model of an innovative integration of wellness and nutrition into curriculum and taking advantage of the agriculture based careers available in our community.
Community Supporters of the Year: Stephen & Michelle La Berge, Santa Cruz High School Mock Trial coaches
The LaBerges have been involved with Mock Trial at Santa Cruz High School for the past 10 years. They have helped literally hundreds of kids grow in confidence and skill, shaping adults who will know better than most how the legal system really works, how to speak and behave in a public forum, how to rally themselves and others to complete a complex task and how to build a persuasive argument… They start with respect for each child’s personal capability… Their goals of teaching, learning and thinking are clearly more important than winning… Our team would not be where we are today without their leadership and knowledge, and on a personal level, everyone on our team admires and respects Steve and Michele. They set an excellent example of professionalism, skill and expertise.
School of the Year: Gault Elementary
Gault Elementary is a school which demonstrates strong teamwork and dedication to each and every child… the teachers and staff create a place where my child feels loved, and is engaged every day by the curriculum and activities, which are tailored to individual needs… Gault Elementary is the “little school that could”; the kind and open leadership in the Principal’s office, the innovative and hard-working staff and the unwavering dedication of the parents make this school a treasure in our community.
Friend of the Foundation: Ebby Dellamora
The Foundation recognizes Ebby Dellamora for the generosity of her time and her kind willingness to assist in many ways for many years.
Special Award: Alan Pagano, Superintendent, Santa Cruz City Schools
On the occasion of his retirement, the Foundation recognizes Superintendent Pagano for his years of service to the students, staff and parents of Santa Cruz City Schools.