From the Desk of Susan Salcido
Joanna Hendrix named 2023 Santa Barbara County Teacher of the Year!
On Thursday at the Santa Barbara County Board of Education meeting, we were elated to announce that our very own Joanna Hendrix - a teacher of deaf/hard of hearing children whose classroom is housed at Ralph Dunlap School in Orcutt - was selected as the 2023 County Teacher of the Year. For the past 21 years, Hendrix has served deaf and hard of hearing preschool, transitional kindergarten, & kindergarten students from the Santa Maria and Orcutt regions. In 40 years, only one other SBCEO teacher has been named Santa Barbara County Teacher of the Year.
Our selection committee, led so ably by Steven Keithley, Director of Teacher Programs and Support, was unanimous in choosing Ms. Hendrix from an impressive pool of candidates and finalists. Ms. Hendrix’s unique expertise in language acquisition and development - and in building meaningful relationships with her students and their families - enable her students to thrive, grow, and express themselves with confidence.
Ms. Hendrix teaches students with a range of hearing ability, language development, and literacy skills. Her students are culturally and linguistically diverse. The languages spoken in their homes consist of American Sign Language, English, Spanish, and Mixtec. Many arrive to her classroom with insufficient early language exposure, resulting in absent or weak language foundations. She and her staff work collaboratively and prioritize equity in meeting the educational, social, emotional, and linguistic needs of their deaf and hard of hearing students.
We congratulate Joanna on this recognition, thank her for her 21 years of service to students, and look forward to learning more about her and her work as we move through the year. As the recipient from our county, Ms. Hendrix is eligible for the California Teacher of the Year award, and we’ll be rooting for her every step of the way.
Santa Barbara County Board of Education adopts resolution
At the Santa Barbara County Board of Education meeting, the board voted unanimously to adopt a resolution designating May 2-6, 2022, as Teacher Appreciation Week, the 11th of May as National School Nurse Day, and the third full week of May as Classified School Employee Week in Santa Barbara County.
As we celebrate teachers this week, I know all teachers would say that they couldn’t do their job without the entire team that supports them. Thanks to all who support our children in schools every day. So much is asked of you, and you show incredible adaptability, resiliency, and tenacity. You are both the frontline, and the heart, of our educational community, and we are so thankful for your service to our students, their families, and our community.
Non-Profit Programs of the Santa Barbara County Education Office
The Children’s Creative Project supports TK-12 arts education in Santa Barbara County schools. In 2019-2020 this included 400 performances and arts workshops for 50,000 children at 90 school sites. Throughout the pandemic, CCP has provided critical arts programming through virtual offerings and is eager to return to in-person experiences this school year. In addition to performances and workshops, CCP hosts large events with touring national and international artists. CCP also hosts the annual I Madonnari Festival to raise additional funds for in-school arts education.
The mission of Partners in Education is to connect businesses and volunteers with Santa Barbara County schools in ways that prepare students for the world ahead. Through our programming, 332,787 total volunteer hours were delivered to more than 100 schools and afterschool programs; 893 high school students have received Paid Job Readiness Training and 770 have been matched with internships; and 14,000 computers have been distributed to individuals and families.