SCV Education Foundation to host in-person Teacher Tribute


News release 

The Santa Clarita Valley Education Foundation, along with the superintendents from the five local public school districts, is inviting the community to honor the SCV’s 2021-22 teachers of the year from 55 local schools.  

And, after two years of virtual events due to COVID-19, this year’s celebration will be held in person, organizers said.  

The 38th Annual Teacher Tribute, themed “Saluting Our Education Lifesavers,” is scheduled to be held 

Friday, April 29, at the Canyon Country Community Center, honoring teachers from the Castaic Union School District, Newhall School District, Saugus Union School District, Sulphur Springs Union School District and the William S. Hart Union High School District. 

“The theme of the event was selected because, over the past two years, our teachers have braved some very rough waters and navigated a changing environment while preserving, enhancing, and maybe even helping to save the lives of our students. These have been unprecedented times and our teachers have risen to the challenge,” foundation Executive Director Jackie Hartmann said in a prepared statement. “We can’t wait for the teachers to tell everyone about the voyage they took to get to this point. They deserve to be recognized, now more than ever.” 

The in-person ceremony is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. when the honorees will be taken on a three-hour cruise. Captain Dave Caldwell (Hart district public information officer) and Activities Director Janene Maxon (Castaic Union School District board member) will host a fun evening of awards and entertainment.  

The celebration will include a special ukulele performance by fifth- and sixth-grade students at Castaic Elementary School and Live Oak Elementary School. Leading the performance will be music teacher Melissa Valencia, who was a grant recipient of 40 ukuleles from the SCV Education Foundation in 2020.  

Included in the festivities, several Hart district seniors will be awarded $10,000 in scholarships. 

The honorees and a guest will be hosted by the Premier Partners of the SCV Education Foundation, who are helping to fund the cost of the tribute.  

“Our year-round education partners make such a difference to our organization,” Hartmann added. “I have to say thank you to JSB Development, the California Credit Union, Pocock Brewing Company, and SoCalGas for their ongoing support of public schools in Santa Clarita.” 

The SCV Education Foundation is looking for sponsors and donations for swag bag items. Those interested in supporting Teacher Tribute are asked to visit or email [email protected]. The Santa Clarita Valley Education Foundation was founded in 1995 to foster relationships between businesses, schools, the community, educators, and youth to enrich public school education and to promote appreciation for public school education in the Santa Clarita Valley. In support of these goals, the Education Foundation sponsors several annual events and programs to foster and support excellence in education for students of Santa Clarita Valley. The programs include Teacher Tribute, Principal for a Day, Page Turners, Teacher Innovation Grants, Scholarships, Bag of Books and Read with Me! 

Teacher Tribute Honorees 

Teacher Tribute honors one teacher from each of the 55 public schools who are selected by their peers and school administrators. The 2021/2022 Teachers of the Year are: 

Castaic Union School District 

• Castaic Elementary: Kristen McGaffee. 

• Castaic Middle School: Miquela Moreno. 

• Live Oak Elementary: Tara Gordon. 

• Northlake Hills Elementary: Teresa Uno. 

Newhall School District 

• McGrath Elementary: Rosa Becerril-Burns. 

• Meadows Elementary: Cindy Brenenman. 

• Newhall Elementary: Matthew Cavin. 

• Oak Hills Elementary: Clarissa Smith. 

• Old Orchard Elementary: Igmedio Gardose. 

• Peachland Elementary: Gina Rodriquez. 

• Pico Canyon Elementary: Kimberly Goodnight. 

• Stevenson Ranch Elementary: Laura Arnott. 

• Valencia Valley Elementary: Karen Clark. 

• Wiley Canyon Elementary: Tara Speiser. 

Saugus Union School District 

• Bridgeport Elementary: Dina Ticas. 

• Cedarcreek Elementary: Katy Engbrecht. 

• Emblem Academy: Jeff Charton. 

• Charles Helmers Elementary: Jenna Dwyer. 

• Highlands Elementary: Robyn Ortiz. 

• James Foster Elementary: Johanna Durkin. 

• Mountainview Elementary: Adam Hollinger. 

• North Park Elementary: Christina Bakoo. 

• Plum Canyon Elementary: Juli Schoenberger. 

• Rio Vista Elementary: Jennifer Stradling 

• Rosedell Elementary: Cassie Rivera. 

• Santa Clarita Elementary: Scott Cusack. 

• Skyblue Mesa Elementary: Shellie Dungan. 

• Tesoro del Valle Elementary: Andrew Rude. 

• Westcreek Academy: Audrey Hatae. 

Sulphur Springs Union School District 

• Canyon Springs Community: Jan LaJoice. 

• Fair Oaks Ranch Community: Anne Amling. 

• Golden Oak Community: Debbie Eaton. 

• Leona Cox Community: Jen Twitchell. 

• Mint Canyon Community: Jackie Charrow. 

• Mitchell Community: Emily Fraker. 

• Pinetree Community: Valerie Andrews. 

• Sulphur Springs Community: Katie Calnan. 

• Valley View Community: Kaitlyn Graff. 

William S. Hart Union High School District 

• Academy of the Canyons: Robert Walker. 

• Arroyo Seco Junior High: Heather Coo. 

• Bowman High School: Sheryl Valenzuela. 

• Canyon High School: Steven Rector. 

• Castaic High School: Hannah Mistry. 

• Golden Valley High School: Courtney Straka. 

• Hart High School: Diane De La Maza. 

• La Mesa Junior High: Shelley Turski. 

• Placerita Junior High: Elizabeth Leon. 

• Rancho Pico Junior High: Melinda Wignal. 

• Rio Norte Junior High: Mitzi Mandel. 

• Saugus High School: Ashley Winkler. 

• Sequoia Charter: Fidel Garcia. 

• Sierra Vista Junior High: Kathlee Coleman. 

• Valencia High School: Jennifer Burrill. 

• West Ranch High School: Heather Frame. 

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