News Release

April 12, 2013

Crystal Apple winners announced

Ten outstanding educators, five each from northern and southern Santa Barbara County, will receive the 2013 Venoco Inc. Crystal Apple Educator Awards at the annual Education Celebration that will be hosted May 9 by the Teachers Network of the Santa Barbara County Education Office at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott in Buellton.

Each year, school employees, parents, and students are invited to nominate educators they feel have provided exceptional service to students.

Crystal Apple winners are recognized for their dedication, their instructional and motivational skills, their ability to challenge and inspire students, and their ability to interact with students, staff, and members of the community. Each winner receives a special crystal apple plaque and a $500 stipend, provided by the program sponsor, Venoco Inc.

“My parents were both teachers,” said Tim Marquez, co-founder and retired CEO of Venoco, “so I have a soft spot in my heart for teachers. It is a profession that does not get the recognition it deserves — especially when you consider the trust we place in teachers to educate our children. We are proud to be able to support an award that recognizes the outstanding teachers in Santa Barbara County.”

“We are so pleased to be able to acknowledge the exceptional work of these outstanding educators,” said County Superintendent Bill Cirone, whose office coordinates the program. “They represent the hundreds of professionals working day in and day out to make a difference for the students of Santa Barbara County, and they are our community’s true unsung heroes.”

This year’s Crystal Apple winners are:

North County

  • Elementary Teacher — Kari Montano, Family Partnership Charter School, Blochman Union School District
  • Secondary Teacher — Marybeth Stieber, Cabrillo High School, Lompoc Unified School District
  • Administrator — Carl Krugmeier (principal), Clarence Ruth School, Lompoc Unified School District
  • Certificated Support Provider — Karen Baugher (special education teacher), Ontiveros School, Santa Maria, SBCEO Special Education
  • Classified Employee — Christie Hurd (special education aide), Lakeview Jr. High School, Orcutt Union School District

South County

  • Elementary Teacher — Susan Buppert, Monte Vista School, Hope School District
  • Secondary Teacher — Robin Selzler, Dos Pueblos High School, Santa Barbara Unified School District
  • Administrator — Jennifer Foster (assistant principal), San Marcos High School, Santa Barbara Unified School District
  • Certificated Support Provider — Sergio Castellanos (school counselor), San Marcos High School, Santa Barbara Unified School District
  • Classified Employee — Suzanne Valenzuela (administrative secretary), La Cuesta High School, Santa Barbara Unified School District

Further information is available from Courtney Stockton, SBCEO Teacher Programs and Support, 964-4710, ext. 5277.