Eddy Awards 2013

The 2013 Eddy Awards
Honoring Excellence in Education

The Santa Cruz Education Foundation’s Eddy Awards provide an opportunity for the community to recognize the outstanding commitment made daily by the dedicated educators, staff and volunteers of Santa Cruz City Schools.

The 2013 Eddy Awards were presented on May 15 at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center.

 Thank you to our generous sponsors!


Group Cheer.web

Scroll to read more about each honoree and excerpts from their inspiring nominations 

    • Outstanding Teacher
      • K-3: Carol Hanna, Bay View
      • 4-5: Amariah Hernandez, Gault
      • 6-8: Jeff Osborne
      • 9-12: Yolie Diego, Santa Cruz High
    • Roseann Coonerty Layne Inspiring Teacher Award
      • Robyn Miranda, Soquel High School
    • Unsung Hero
      • Staff: Suzanne Williams, Soquel High
      • Volunteer: Jeanie Darling, Westlake Elementary
    • Green Award
      • Bay View Elementary: Bill Philipps, Stuart Branoff
    • Wellness Award
      • Elementary School Counseling Program: Dawn Baxter, Janinee Ramirez, Jolene Dugan
    • Innovation Award
      • Kathleen Crocetti, Mission Hill Middle School
    • Community Supporter of the Year
      • Casey Coonerty Protti & Bookshop Santa Cruz
      • Kathleen Ferraro, Branciforte Middle School & DeLaveaga Elementary
    • School of the Year
      • Harbor High School

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Outstanding Teachers
teachers who inspire, challenge and support students
Four awards for K-3, 4-5, 6-8 and 9-12 teachers

  • Kindergarten through 3rd grade: Carol Hanna, Bay View 

Carol HannaCarol has taught at Bay View for 27 years, beginning as an aide in the first bilingual class in the district. Today, she is still a pioneer – taking the reins of our first transitional kindergarten class. Carol has supported a generation of children in embracing their native language as they acquire a new language. She is a master of fun who ensures that every child knows that they are special and each endowed with their own unique strengths.

“Her welcoming and warm classroom has been the first school experience for hundreds of children. She is a passionate advocate for primary language instruction and a true leader for early childhood education for all.” ~ “My son is older now and as I meet local residents – bus drivers, small business owners and others – they still remember Ms. Carol Hanna as their or their child’s first educator after 20 years! A good educator is never forgotten and never grows old!”

  • 4th & 5th grade: Amariah Hernandez, Gault 

Amariah HernandezAmariah grew up at Gault: she’s an alumna, her mom, Pam taught there, her dad served as the Home and School club president and her three-year-old twins are destined for Gault too. It’s a family business – but not one she expected to inherit. We’re glad she did. In her 12 years of teaching, Amariah has built deep relationships with children and their families as she seeks to do right by each child, each day. Her students learn, in the words of Albus Dumbledore, that they “must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy.”

“Amariah was my daughter’s favorite all-time teacher. She knew how to make math fun, writing interesting and running the mile worthwhile.” ~ “She knows when to be strict and when to be silly.” ~ “She handles multiple levels of ability well, keeping all students moving forward. She is an incredibly caring and able teacher.” ~ “Every child feels special in her class, they are all the ‘Big Piña!”

  • 6th through 8th grade: Jeff Osborne, Mission Hill

Jeff OsborneA father of three and teacher for 18 years, Jeff never expected to teach and especially not be the one who assigns dreaded homework. Today he takes pride in the impact he has had on students and deeply appreciates their clever attitudes, resilience and shared fun. He encourages students to challenge themselves and to analyze not only the work they are assigned, but their lives and history. His influence extends from the classroom to the ocean, where he coaches the surf team and regularly encounters appreciative former students.

“I would hope that every adult was lucky enough to learn under one or two teachers during their years at school who was particularly unforgettable, whose teaching touched them and had a lasting affect that went well beyond performing well on tests, who went the extra mile, whom we still remember fondly, well into our adult years. I have the suspicion that when my daughter is all grown up, Mr. Osborne will be that teacher for her.”

  • 9th through 12th grade: Yolie Diego, Santa Cruz High 

Yolie.webYolie Diego, Spanish Teacher, Santa Cruz High School The foreign service’s loss was our gain when Yolie Diego decided to become a teacher. She has been teaching Spanish at Santa Cruz High for 25 years. Yolie is deeply invested in her students and her profession. She not only leads her department, but also provides teacher workshops and works with the Stanford World Language Project. She celebrates those aha! moments when her students begin speaking Spanish effortlessly and without realizing it.

“A visitor to her classes finds students working in activities where they are expected to use Spanish from the beginning to the end of their class. Students who have had Yolie’s classes return to SCHS from college report being well prepared for their Spanish college-level classes.” ~ “Senora Diego’s students break the perception of American students as monolingual and embrace other cultures and languages. With a mix of song, humor and hard work she prepares students to read, write and speak Spanish. In addition to being beloved, her student results on AP exams are consistently exemplary.” ~ “Do you want to become a Spanish speaker and culturally literate? Take Yolie Diego’s class. Want to be prepared to succeed in college? Take Yolie Diego’s class. Want to become bilingual and biliterate? Yolie will take you there.”

Roseann Coonerty Layne Inspiring Teaching Award
Teacher who ignites a passion for learning in 7-12 grade English, History, Social Studies or Civics/Government

  • Robyn Miranda, Soquel High

Robyn MirandaRobyn came to teaching as a second (or third or fourth) career. Though she has been at it for 11 years, she still retains that “new teacher” energy and passion in her approach and ability to inspire. A co-founder of the acclaimed (and Eddy-honored) Humanities Academy, she has taught at all levels, from 9th graders to seniors in AP Literature. Students in her classes often experience an epiphany, transforming from reluctant learners to become college English majors. Robyn has earned her students’ devotion and the respect of her colleagues.

 “9th grade English is often a pivotal class for students, defining the type of student they will be for the next 4 years. Ms. Miranda is the real deal when it comes to expecting students to achieve at a high level and supporting them in doing so.” ~ “Her learning disabled student with a history of not writing – pretty much at all – is now writing thanks to Robyn’s unwavering belief. That’s the thing with Robyn, she really believes in all of our students’ possibilities. She teaches across the spectrum of student ability levels, and she shares a love of learning and enthusiasm with all her students.” ~ “Her classes are demanding and inspiring. Robyn works one-on-one at any hour to accommodate a student, including weekends. I have often entered Robyn’s room early in the morning or hours after school has ended, to find her there, with a student, working through a challenge they are having in the class. Additionally Robyn offers her time every fall to work with each senior student she has, outside of class time, to help him or her determine the best way to approach their college application essays. She is fully committed to this process and has worked with literally hundreds of students over the years.”

Unsung Hero
hardworking staff and parents who make a difference every day

  • Suzanne Williams, Soquel High Counseling Secretary

SuzanneWilliams.webSuzanne’s path to the office began first as a parent volunteer, then with a stint as the arts coordinator at Gault, where she coordinated everything from the “Scoop” to family art nights. For the past four years, Suzanne has served students and staff in the Counseling office at Soquel High. With her relentlessly positive attitude and generous heart, Suzanne is the fiercest cheerleader a school could have.

“Besides being a secret Santa for my son at Christmas, she has always been there for both of us if either of us had a question or just needed to talk. Unsung Hero she is, but in my eyes and heart she is also an Angel. She did for my son what I could not and I am truly grateful!” ~ “Suzanne believes wholeheartedly in our schools and in every student. She is generous and kind and filled with an infectious school spirit.”

  • Jeanie Darling, Parent, Westlake Elementary

Jeanie DarlingA parent of a 6th grader and a 4th grader, Jeanie gives her time generously and freely, inspired by the teachers and staff and how hard they work on behalf of each child. She sees that parent involvement helped not only her children, but all the children in the school. She has learned the true benefit of volunteering: that a sincere desire to make a difference yields greater gifts than the time given.

“She knows every family member (over 600 children at our school) and will drop ANYTHING to help Westlake. Nothing stops her and with no doubt, she cares about our school.” ~ “She has devoted limitless hours to both fund raising and community building events; serving on the Westlake PTA in multiple roles, acting as chairperson for the Artisan Fair, Harvest Fair, Book Fair, Movie Nights, Spirit Day, Back to School BBQ as well as dedicated room parent and classroom volunteer. Her contributions, kindness and generous nature have helped build a sense of community and raise thousands of dollars for our schools.” ~ “I am amazed at her organizational skills, compassion, sense of fairness mixed with some necessary ‘crowd-control’ muscle, ‘kid-politics’ savvy and great sense of humor.”

Green Award
Person, group or program that educates about and emulates the District’s Green policies

  • Bay View Elementary School, with special recognition of contributions made by Bill Philipps, Custodian and Stu Branoff, 5th grade teacher

Stu BranoffBay View has recently become the first “Green” elementary school in the district. “Anything we can do to encourage to refuse, reuse, and recycle is good for our planet. Awareness begins in elementary school, and through our efforts we have a direct impact on the 550 students and their families.” Bill and Stuart began the Green Business Certification last year to set an example for future generations of Santa Cruzans and to be a role model for the community. Even before certification they recycled schoolwide, composted in the Life Lab, made double sided copies, and encouraged staff to either walk or bike to school. Students and the larger community have been involved in the Green Business Certification process, taking steps to reach the certification requirements such as getting off junk mail lists, labeling storm drains, and developing spill containment plans.

BillPhillips.web“As long time members of the Green Schools committee, Bill Philipps and Stu Branoff have long been working on greening the District. Bill has attended conferences on green cleaning techniques and he is always making sure bottles and cans are recycled. Stu’s classes participate annually in the Santa Cruz Earth Day celebration and willingly try new green curriculum like the fifth grade watershed project. Stu and Bill exemplify how to go above and beyond to do great work.” ~ “Bill Philipps has worked TIRELESSLY to ensure our school could qualify as a Green Business. He made changes to all the classrooms (fixing leaks, remediating inefficiencies), ensured we were pollution free, changed all our cleaning supplies/chemicals to green products, managed our waste and recycling efforts, and was absolutely CRUCIAL to our being certified.”

Wellness Award
Person, group or program that promotes wellness 

Elementary School Counseling Program 

  • Dawn Baxter, Bay View
  • Janinee Ramirez, Gault 
  • Jolene Dugan, DeLaveaga & Westlake

Elementary CounselorsThe results of a pilot counseling program funded by a federal grant have been compelling. In addition to counseling services for students and their families, the comprehensive program includes a common schoolwide (including parents) understanding of behavioral expectations and tools for problem solving, managing emotions and addressing conflict. Counselors are reaching students who have never received support. Their gentle guidance is resulting in personal change, growth and resilience among our most vulnarable students.

“In just 19 months, we have seen a drastic reduction in behavior concerns among students, an increase in social skill development, a calmer school climate and a freeing up of the principal to be an instructional leader. This program gives all of our students an equitable start, the school a common language for skills expectations and a common ground for expectations of how to handle a variety of social situations. Students can only learn when their emotional needs are tended to first and the counselors are able to skillfully provide the time and support needed for these students. The three counselors have developed tremendous rapport with the students, staff and families of their schools.”

Innovation Award
Recognizes innovation in the service of students

  • Kathleen Crocetti, Art Teacher, Mission Hill Middle School

Kathleen CrocettiKathleen Crocetti has been honored and recognized as an outstanding art teacher by her peers locally and statewide. Today we honor her for her impact beyond the classroom. Kathleen helps all students tap into their creative core. She tells them to perservere, find their joy, share it and be passionate. She connects these students to the greater community by giving them extraordinary opportunities to share their creative expression. Thousands see her innovative ideas at work daily as they drive across the Water and Soquel Street bridges; recently over 100 students from throughout the county participating in her FashionTEENS event showed their wearable, recycled art to a packed Civic Auditorium.

“Ms. Crocetti stretches their achievements way beyond what they ever thought they could do. She brings their art into the community as mosaics on bridges and through the all- teen fashion show at the Civic.” ~ “Kathleen Crocetti embodies innovation. Her world has no boxes, no boundaries. Anything and everything is possible. Got some boring lampposts on a city bridge? I know! Let’s cover them with student-created mosaics. Sure, we can get approval, funding, volunteers and execute in oh, say, a few months. She empowers students daily, and inspires the community to renew their support for our schools by highlighting their outstanding work.”

Community Supporters of the Year 
Acknowledges the tremendous gift of community support for our schools

  • Organization: Casey Coonerty & Bookshop Santa Cruz

Casey Coonerty Bookshop Santa Cruz understands that it takes a community – parents, schools, bookstores, libraries – to create the next generation of readers. Knowing that schools are the frontline heroes in this effort, they help by providing resources. In Casey’s words, “Every teacher, principal and librarian in Santa Cruz City Schools is dedicated to fostering a love of reading with their students and they do so with an abundance of passion, perseverance and creativity. It is so much fun to work with people who love books and create those magical sparks between kids and books that last a lifetime.” A product of Santa Cruz City Schools, Casey is thrilled to have her own children attending today.

“We cannot think of anyone more deserving of this honor. Their unwavering dedication to student literacy and school libraries is displayed every day. They created the Holiday Book Drive and work with schools on in-house book fairs. They provide tickets for students to hear authors such as Matt de la Peña and Isabel Allende. They worked with the Warriors on the Read to Achieve program and have a summer reading program coming up. And, last week they showed their appreciation to all teachers in the store.” ~ “Casey Coonerty Protti and Bookshop embody the kind of community-business-school partnerships that allow each to thrive. Bookshop is not only generous with book donations, but also with outreach and outspoken support for neighborhood schools. When I think of what it means to be a Community Supporter for our schools, I think of Bookshop!”

  • Individual: Kathleen Ferraro, Branciforte Middle School and DeLaveaga Elementary

KathyFerraro.webFor the past 14 years, Kathleen has been an active in the classroom, library, life lab and literally running around as the coach of the running club at DeLaveaga and Cross County team at Branciforte. But it is Kathleen’s willingness to identify a need and build community-wide coalitions to meet the challenge that sets her apart. From taking on safety for students en route to DeLaveaga to supporting the Branciforte field project and the brand new library media lab, Kathleen galvanizes the community around our schools to advocate and to give generously. She enjoys the challenge of fundraising and celebrates the strides we are making together as a community to improve upon the education of our students.

“Kathy Ferraro is tireless and tenacious.” ~ “There’s a reason there’s a Kathy Ferraro Memorial Path at DeLaveaga Elementary School. She doggedly pursued the idea of getting kids to school safely and undertook the not insignificant work to make it happen. It took advocacy with the City, with parents, with the school district and it required fundraising. Now, at Branciforte and Harbor High, when she sees a need, she steps in to meet it.” ~ “She has been an amazing asset at Branciforte. She has supported the public relations and fund raising needed to purchase 35 new iMac computers for the media lab and in moving forward with plans to outfit the new Digital Innovation Center.”

School of the Year
Recognizes the outstanding results of a collaborative community in service of students

Harbor High School

DickDavisHarbor.webHarbor High School has the rare opportunity to be that school where equity and opportunity meet; to be that school where teachers and students, working together, develop the essential skills that will make students ready for the world. It can be seen in everyone making their best attempt to teach and learn. Their focus on “student-ness” is like a goldmine and there are evident structures built to make sure that students learn and develop. Harbor High School is a small, diverse school where participation is ensured and opportunities are taken, creating and providing access to learning for all students.

ManuelandLuis.web“Harbor High demonstrates professional collaboration, embraces innovative ideas and shows profound respect for every member of the school community: students, teachers, staff and parents. Programs like the Summer Algebra Academy come from a well of passion and a willingness to look for the ‘yes’ to make challenging things possible. That belief in doing right by kids is palpable and evident in anyone you meet on campus.” ~ “The Harbor High Biology team has developed a model system for re-teaching and extension. At the end of each unit, they assess their students to identify which students have mastered the content. They use this data to regroup students for targeted learning. Those students who are not proficient go to one teacher’s classroom for re-teaching and following re-teaching, these students get another opportunity to demonstrate their mastery of the concepts. Those students who have already mastered the content go to another teacher’s classroom for an extension and enrichment opportunity that takes their learning in this particular area to a deeper level. This effort has been made possible by the tremendous commitment of this team of teachers. Without built in collaboration time in their schedule, they met Keith Hodges - Harborover the summer and they continue to meet each Sunday to plan lessons and common assessments. They collaboratively plan their re-teaching units and the extension units for students. Their professional learning community work is a model for our district.” ~ “Harbor is the first high school in the district which has voted in a new schedule, completely teacher driven, to ensure WEEKLY teacher/staff collaboration. This collaboration, while at times occurring, is now BUILT INTO THE SCHEDULE. This has been true for the elementary and middle schools, but Harbor is the first high school. Because Harbor is not afraid to change when change is necessary.”

2013 Eddy Awards Sponsors

Miller Maxfield Logo   Graphic1  fhjcomlogo  Whole Foods Logo   Stoops – O’Hara Family, Bonny Hawley

2013 Eddy Awards Supporters

With over 20 years of professional experience as a photographer in the Monterey Bay region Terry Way Photography has been capturing once in a lifetime moments with his unique style. Online portfolios can be seen @ terryway.com also make sure to “like” the Terry Way Photography pro page on Facebook for daily images.

Previous honorees

Outstanding Teachers

    • 2012: Sara Balla, Ginger Anderson, Lorraine Jue, Stacey Falls
    • 2011: Sheila French; Barbara Novelli; Erin Petersen-Lindberg; Lorrie Coonrad
    • 2010: Alice Cato; Alison Woolpert; Jenny Nixen; Ron Indra
    • 2009 : Judy Flora; Jeanette Leglu; Wendy Thompson; Stuart Kumaishi

Unsung Heroes

    • 2012: Arturo Lopez, Maria Theresa Ayala
    • 2011: Laura Hamby, Mission Hill Middle School; Mike Wehrman, Bay View Elementary School
    • 2010: Fe Silva, Branciforte Middle School; Janet Edwards, parent, Soquel High
    • 2009: Steve Arnold, Mission Hill Middle School;  Eddie Ray Garcia, parent, Harbor High

Green Award

    • 2012: Julia Davenport, Watershed Education
    • 2011: Sue Lisin, Bay View parent, Green Schools Committee
    • 2010: Gault Elementary
    • 2009: Lynn Barry, SCCS Purchasing

Wellness Award

    • 2012: Elizabeth Christensen Rayburn
    • 2011: Food What?!
    • 2010: Jamie Smith, SCCS Food Service manager
    • 2009: SCCS Integrated Wellness Policy

Innovation Award

    • 2012: Humanities Academy, Soquel High School
    • 2011: Soquel High School Green Mechanical, Engineering and Construction Academy (gMEC)
    • 2010: AVID (Advancement via Individual Determination) Program
    • 2009: Dan Cavanaugh, Bay View Elementary

Community Supporter of the Year

    • 2012: Omega Nu
    • 2011: Rotary Club of Santa Cruz, Sunrise
    • 2010: Young Performers Showcase (Rick Linzer, Alan Heit, Steven Bignall, Colin Alder)
    • 2009: Steve & Michelle LeBerge, Santa Cruz High Mock Trial coaches

School of the Year

    • 2012: Branciforte Middle School
    • 2011: Branciforte Small Schools Campus, Curt Coleman Principal
    • 2010: Santa Cruz High School
    • 2009: Gault Elementary School

Before entering your nomination (and to verify if your nominee has already been honored), we encourage to learn more about previous winners by visiting these Eddy Awards pages: