UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School presents longtime area educator Lynn Luft the 2012 Distinguished Alumna Award. The new Gevirtz School Distinguished Alumna/us Award is made possible by a generous grant from the Bialis Family Foundation.
Lynn Luft has a B.A. in Sociology from UC Santa Barbara and earned her teaching credential from the School of Education at UCSB in 1973. She has taught at El Rancho and Hollister Schools, but from 1980 through 2006 she taught at Vieja Valley School — for the last 18 years teaching the 6th grade. “Lynn created the safest classroom so that each student was able to perform to his or her potential,” says Julie Newendorp, a mother of students who were in Lynn Luft’s classes. “She was strict with the rules and didn’t allow students to tease and make fun of each other. She brought out the best in each student. She had them appreciate one another – one of the most powerful experiences for anyone. She was loving and respectful to all students and their parents.”
“The Gevirtz School takes pride in our capacity to prepare students for many future career paths, including educational and psychological research from multiple disciplinary perspectives, and the practice of teaching, professional development, educational leadership, and applied psychology (counseling, clinical, and school),” claims Dean Jane Close Conoley. “By inaugurating this award, with the help of the Bialis Foundation, we will be able to recognize and honor some of the best of the best of our former students. Lynn Luft’s career as a dedicated and inspiring teacher is emblematic of the power of education and the training our school provides.”