November 6, 2007
For immediate release
Marilyn Garza, an alum of UC Santa Barbara’s Teacher Education Program, wins prestigious Milken National Educator Award
On October 31 Santa Barbara Junior High School teacher Marilyn Garza was awarded a Milken National Educator Award. Garza, a 1995 graduate of the Teacher Education Program at UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School, was presented with an unrestricted $25,000 award during a school assembly. Lowell Milken, co-founder of the Milken Family Foundation, an organization aiming to improving the quality of K-12 education, was personally on hand to give Marilyn Garza, an eighth-grade math and physical science teacher, the award.
Garza earned a M.Ed. and a Single Subject Teaching Credential in Science: Physics from UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School. She is one of only 80 recipients of the awards to be distributed by the foundation this school year. A 2007-08 Santa Barbara County Distinguished Educator, she has been with Santa Barbara Junior High for 11 years and is the first Santa Barbara area teacher to win a Milken award since 1994.
“Marilyn brings to her teaching an amazing blend of scientific knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge, and a passion for meeting the needs of her students,” claims Lynne Cavazos, the former acting director of the Teacher Education Program and science educator in the TEP for fifteen years. “Over the years, Marilyn has taken advantage of every professional opportunity made available that would help her stay connected to cutting edge science at UCSB and in turn bring that science to her students at Santa Barbara Junior High. She has been a mentor to many teacher candidates from UCSB demonstrating to them the true meaning of professionalism and collaboration. I am thrilled that her dedication to teaching and learning is being recognized with the Milliken Award.”
According to their mission statement, “The purpose of the Milken Family Foundation is to discover and advance inventive and effective ways of helping people help themselves and those around them lead productive and satisfying lives. The Foundation advances this mission primarily through its work in education and medical research.” One of the ways the foundation works to strengthen and advance the teaching profession is by recognizing and rewarding outstanding educators. Candidates are selected from recommendations made by independent blue-ribbon committees. Once selected, recipients are honored at the Milken National Education Conference, where they work with leaders from education, government, business, and the community on ways to improve education and strengthen state and national networks of exemplary teachers.
In addition to her graduate degree from UCSB, Garza received a bachelor’s degree in materials science engineering from UC Berkeley. Her involvement in education programs, trainings, and research include serving as a Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment (BTSA) mentor for beginning science teachers; participating in the South Coast Science Institute and the Research Experience for Teachers program; GATE training and conferences on closing the achievement gap; and the Science Partnership for School Innovation, to name a few.
Also in attendance at the presentation were Milken Foundation board member and former professional football player Rosey Grier, State Superintendent of Education Jack O’Connell, Santa Barbara County School Superintendent Brian Sarvis, Assembly Member Pedro Nava, and Santa Barbara Junior High School Principal John Becchio.
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