Archive » June 12, 2008
THREE TEACHERS LAUDED
By Margo Kline, Staff Writer
Three teachers lauded
Three North County teachers were on track June 11 to be honored as Santa Barbara County Distinguished Educators.
County Superintendent of Schools William J. Cirone scheduled a press conference for the morning of June 12 to announce the honored trio, who are: Diane Siegal, an English teacher at Santa Ynez Valley Union High School; Nicole Mercado, an eighth grade English teacher at Jonata Middle School in Buellton, and Beverly Larsen, an intervention teacher at Ontiveros School in Santa Maria.
The Distinguished Educators honors were created, Cirone said, to acknowledge teachers in the Teacher of the Year awards program. Luke Laurie, a science teacher at El Camino Junior High in Santa Maria, was named winner of the Teacher of the Year title in May.
The decision to name the three Distinguished Educators came when the selection committee for Teacher of the Year “expressed strong feelings that the application and credentials of Larsen, Mercado, and Siegal were clearly Teacher-of-the-Year caliber,” according to a press release from Cirone’s office.
The committee could only select one educator as Teacher of the Year.
But, according to Cirone, committee members “felt strongly” that the other three teachers should receive recognition for their excellence.
Siegal, who has taught at SYVUHS for seven years, wrote in a statement to the committee: “My ultimate goal is for [students] to feel safe enough to express their ideas in a classroom environment that is absolutely scholarly, but also open and playful.”