More than two dozen supporters of local education – including educators, parents, community members, school board members, and support staff members – will be honored today for their roles in making a difference for students.
Nearly 500 educators, family members, and friends from San Diego and Imperial counties are expected at the 14th annual Honoring Our Own Awards at the Sheraton San Diego Resort and Marina on Harbor Island.
Honoring Our Own is a collaboration between the San Diego County School Boards Association and the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) Region 18, and the event has grown year after year, said Katie Dexter, president of the school boards association. Dexter is also a trustee on Lemon Grove School District board and was named School Board Member of the Year at the 2012 awards.
Dexter said these awards are significant because it's important to honor all of the partners involved in educating children. "Everyone deserves their night," she said. "It takes a village for quality education. It's the community partners; it's the parents."
Also this year, Carol Skiljan will receive The Dede Alpert Award, which is given to individuals who have made a significant contribution to public education. It is named for retired state Sen. Dede Alpert, who is scheduled to attend for the award presentation. Alpert's legislative career focused heavily on education. Skiljan has served on the Encinitas Union School District board since 1992, is the executive director and a founding member of the San Diego chapter of the Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Program, and is vice chair of the First 5 San Diego Commission. She also serves on the board of directors for the California School Boards Association.
Two San Diego County Office of Education administrators will be honored with ACSA awards: Heather Difede, senior director of the East County Special Education Local Plan Area, and Bob Mueller, director of Student Attendance,
Safety, and Well-Being.
The 2016 Honoring Our Own awards will recognize San Diego County School Boards Association honorees and ACSA Region 18 administrators of the year.
Guests will be entertained by student musicians and performers, including the Oceanside High School Dixieland Band, the Valhalla High School Advanced String Orchestra, and the La Mesa Arts Academy Ensemble. The Hoover High School Army JROTC Color Guard will conduct the Presentation of Colors.
This year's honorees are:
San Diego County School Boards Association
School Board Member of the Year: Kevin Howe, Lakeside Union School District
First Term School Board Member of the Year: Erin English, Bonsall Unified School District
Community Partner of the Year: Ellen Beck, executive director, and Irvin Silverstein, dental director, UCSD Student-Run Free Clinic, UCSD Health Sciences
Parent Volunteer of the Year: Lisa Stewart, Grossmont Union High School Di
Staff Member of the Year: Lisa Bernheisel, child nutrition kitchen coordinator, Vista Unified School District
Confidential/Administrative Staff Member of the Year: Yvette Olea, executive assistant to the superintendent, National School District
Association of California School Administrators Region 18
Superintendent: David Miyashiro, Cajon Valley Union School District
Secondary Principal: Maria Esther Lizarraga, Sweetwater Union High School District
Secondary Principal: Danette Morrell, Central Union High School District
Middle Grades Principal: Pauline Leavitt, Ramona Unified School District
Middle Grades Principal: Patricia Roth, Chula Vista Elementary School District
Elementary Principal: Mariclaret "MC" Patton, San Diego Unified School District
Central Office: Cheryl Lisa Butler, Chula Vista Elementary School District
Secondary Co-Administrator: Robert Meza-Ehlert, San Diego Unified School District
Classified Leader: Edward Anderson, Ramona Unified School District
Classified Leader: Todd Owens, Lakeside Union School District
Confidential Employee: Lisa De Rosier, Lakeside Union School District
Confidential Employee: Carolina Zimmermann, Sweetwater Union High School District
Special Education: Heather Difede, San Diego County Office of Education
Personnel/Human Resources: Cynthia Frazee, National School District
Adult Education: Teresa Palzkill, Poway Unified School District
Career Technical Education: Gary Schwartzwald, Grossmont Union High School District
Business Services: Suzanne O'Connell, Carlsbad Unified School District
Pupil Personnel: Nancy Fink, Lakeside Union School District
Pupil Personnel: Bob Mueller, San Diego County Office of Education
Curriculum & Instruction: Stephanie Pierce, Santee School District
Continuation/Educational Options: Monalisa Vitela, Imperial County Office of Education
Retired: Gayle Olson-Binder, formerly of Vista Unified School District
Technology: Dan McDowell, Grossmont Union High School District
Technology: Bernard Yeo, Santee School District