Ryan Francisco

Aliso teacher Ryan Francisco leads a STEAM activity with fifth graders Cassandra Vergara, left, and Nelly Juarez Gutierrez. Francisco was named 2018 Educator of the Year by the Carpinteria Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Please join us in thanking Carpinteria Unified School District teachers, as they are special people who transform the lives of children. In 1982, Senator Joseph Montoya wrote a bill for California Day of the Teacher, May 8, to celebrate teachers in a way similar to Mexico’s traditional “El Día del Maestro,“ and our teachers deserve to be celebrated.

Inspiring and impacting student’s lives on a daily basis, our teachers have the most important job in the world. CUSD teachers are caring, dedicated professionals and deeply committed to the success and happiness of each student. Every day, they provide instruction, guidance and opportunities to ensure that all students learn the necessary skills for a successful future. They thoughtfully prepare lessons that engage all students while responding to the varied abilities, strengths and needs of individual students. Most importantly, CUSD teachers foster strong and positive relationships with their students and families.

Last year, a Noozhawk reporter asked our very own Mandi deWitte, Carpinteria High School biology teacher and 2019 Santa Barbara County Teacher of the Year, “What is your favorite part of being a teacher?” De Witte responded, “My students. I enjoy working with them so much. They make me think, laugh and appreciate how lucky I am that I have a job where I get to work and learn with young people.”

Teaching is one of the most interesting and fulfilling, yet exhausting and overwhelming jobs. It requires content knowledge, pedagogical skills, passion, commitment, stamina and artistry. The California Standards for the Teaching Profession (2009) list six standards that reflect the teaching professional: Engaging and Supporting All Students in Learning, Creating and Maintaining Effective Environments for Student Learning, Understanding and Organizing Subject Matter for Student Learning, Planning Instruction and Designing Learning Experiences for All Students, Assessing Students for Learning, and Developing as a Professional Educator.

Teaching is more than content knowledge or instruction, it is a complex and dynamic process in which teachers carefully integrate their understanding of each student’s strengths and needs with content, skills and instructional strategies to promote student learning and social development. “From the moment children step into a classroom, the single most important factor determining their achievement is not the color of their skin or where they come from, it’s not who their parents are or how much money they have. It’s who their teacher is,” said President Barack Obama in 2007. We are honored to recognize CUSD’s outstanding teachers, and we celebrate their significant impact on our children, families, communities and society as a whole.

Diana Rigby is the superintendent of Carpinteria Unified School District. She is focused on improving teaching and learning for all CUSD students and welcomes parent and community input and feedback. For more information about CUSD, log on to cusd.net, or contact Diana at drigby@cusd.net or (805) 684-4511x222.

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