SB Bowl Performing Arts TOY Award Winners
SB Bowl Performing Arts Teacher of the Year Award Winners
The Santa Barbara Bowl Performing Arts Teacher of the Year Award is an annual recognition of an exemplary performing arts teacher made in partnership with the SBCEO Teachers Network and The Santa Barbara Bowl.
2021: Elizabeth Caruso
Music Teacher, Monroe Elementary School, Santa Barbara Unified School District
Liz Caruso teaches music at Monroe Elementary School in the Santa Barbara Unified School District. Recognizing the importance of music education, Caruso created the Monroe School Choir three years ago for students in grades 4-6. The choir has since performed for a number of community events including the SB Education Foundation’s fundraisers. Additionally, Caruso brought the BRAVO! free afterschool music instruction program to Monroe School in 2018. Through Caruso’s vision and passion, every BRAVO! elementary student musician has the opportunity to enhance and enrich their lives through music twice weekly.
“Every time I go into Liz’s classroom, students are not only engaged through moving, dancing, rhyming, singing, or playing an instrument, they are engaged and enveloped in a community of compassion, respect, and love. Wherever you find Liz on campus, you’ll find her reaching out to help, affirm or lift up our students, families and staff.” - Brian Naughton, Monroe Principal
Learn more about Liz HERE
2020: Bree Jansen
Choreography, cheer & LA Teacher, Lompoc High School, Lompoc Unified School District
Bree teaches dance, choreography, cheer, and language arts classes at Lompoc High School where she has taught for 18 years. She devotes countless hours to dance and drama performance opportunities for her students including all students in her outreach. Students state they feel safe, cared for, and free to be who they are in her classes. “Lucky are those who have been blessed to have crossed Mrs. Jansen’s path. Her love for what she does is impeccable.” ~ LHS Parent.
Learn more about Bree HERE.
2019: Aniela Hoffman
Music Teacher, Arellanes Jr. High School, Santa Maria-Bonita School District
“Every day, students inspire me!” – Aniela Hoffman
Aniela is the Music teacher at Arellanes Junior High School. She teaches Jazz Band and Honor Band, fundraises for the bands, gives students the opportunity to see professional musicians, all the while instilling confidence and passion for music. Her students perform regularly throughout the year to sell-out crowds, and provides concerts at charity events in the community. Aniela’s connections with her students run deep, where former students not only visit, but also perform along side her current students thus enriching students’ lives for many years.
Learn more about Aniela HERE.
2018: Garson Olivieri
Band and Orchestra Teacher, Cabrillo High School, Lompoc Unified School District
“I want my students to truly believe that the sound has the answer, and it will tell you if you listen. You are your own best teacher. I can’t make you better, but together we can help you find the better that is already in you.. – Garson Olivieri
Garson is the Band and Orchestra teacher at Lompoc’s Cabrillo High School. In addition to teaching at Cabrillo, he also taught at Vandenberg Middle School, in Lawndale and in Palmdale prior to that. Once in Lompoc, Olivieri started a string orchestra program that has expanded to five classes in three schools. The Cabrillo Marching Band he directs has won the bronze and silver medals at the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association Championships. Most recently, he completed a master’s degree in band conducting at the American Band College of Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas.
Learn more about Garson HERE.
2017: Bret Larson
Music Teacher, Adams Elementary School, Santa Barbara Unified School District
“The invisible structure underneath performing art is developing language skills, fine motor skills, spatial reasoning, listening skills and cooperation. These are the skills that combine to create empathy and humanity.“- Brett Larsen
Brett, an educator for 12 years, is the music program teacher that includes vocal music and Orff instruction for kindergarten through sixth graders at Adams Elementary School. Known for his open-door policy where he supports students with extra tutoring as needed before school and during students lunch period. He teaches all third graders how to play the recorder and ukulele, fourth grade students learn how to play the violin, and students in fifth and sixth grade receive instrumental music lessons. Also the organizer of the Talent Show, Grandparents Day, the co-leader to Bravo!, the Santa Barbara Unified School District’s elementary honor band, Brett is admired throughout the district for his genuine dedication.
Click HERE to learn more about Brett.
2016: Sarah Barthel
Drama and Choir Teacher, Lompoc High School, Lompoc Unified School District
“The main theme of the importance of thinking for yourself is one that resonates with me. Particularly in a modern society with so much technology at our fingertips, it is easy to quickly be caught up in something without thinking it through for yourself. That is a timeless message and one that certainly bears repeating.” – Sarah Barthel
Sarah received bachelor’s degrees with highest honors in mathematics and theater from Bethany College in West Virginia, then completed her MA.ed at Chapman University and has been teaching at Lompoc High since 2000. Both a math and drama teacher, Sarah has added AP Calculus and choir to her teaching schedule. She also worked for the Pacific Conservatory Theatre (PCPA) in Santa Maria as the lead instructor for the Young People’s Project during the summers of 2011 through 2015.
To learn more about Sarah click HERE.