Half the group of local teachers who meet with Vice President Joe Biden are UC Santa Barbara Teacher Education Program alumni

Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Teacher Education Program alumni among the group meeting with VP Joe Biden

Teacher Education Program alumni among the group meeting with VP Joe Biden (photo courtesy Santa Barbara Unified School District)

On their recent visit to the region, Vice-President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden met with eight local teachers and Santa Barbara Unified School District Superintendent Dave Cash aboard Air Force 2 at the Santa Barbara Airport. Half of those teachers are alumni of the Gevirtz School’s Teacher Education Program: Daisy Estrada (Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and M.Ed, 2007), Helen Murdoch (Single Subject Teaching Credential, 1994), José Marquez (Single Subject Teaching Credential, 1997, M.Ed., 1998), and Dovas Zaunius (Single Subject Teaching Credential, 1997, M.Ed., 1998, South Coast Writing Project Fellow, 2003). A fifth teacher in the group, Craig Schneider, taught the Teacher Education Program’s secondary math methods course this year and is currently supporting the district’s transition to Common Core mathematics and Next Generation Science Standards.

Dr. Biden, an educator, wanted to take the opportunity to thank the eight representatives of the teaching profession for the work they, and their district colleagues, do each day. Following the interchange, Dr. Biden led the district staff on a tour of Air Force 2. Dr. Biden presented each guest with a silver bookmark and other mementos.

Daisy Estrada began her teaching career as a first-grade Spanish teacher for the bilingual school, Cesar Chavez Charter School in Santa Barbara. She is currently teaching third grade at McKinley Elementary School. Helen Murdoch was a social studies teacher and yearbook advisor for 14 years at San Marcos High School (SMHS). In 2008 she started as the SMHS teacher librarian and this year she became a technology coach at SMHS and for the school district. José Marquez has been teaching for 17 years at La Colina Junior High. He currently teaches 7th grade social studies and 8th grade Advancement Via Individual Determination. Dovas Zaunius taught English language arts for 16 years at San Marcos High School in Santa Barbara. Currently, he is working as a teacher on special assignment to assist Santa Barbara Unified School District secondary teachers transition to the new Common Core State Standards.

Both UCSB’s Teacher Education Program and its School Psychology program received full re-accreditation with notable accolades included in the official report after their 2011 California Commission on Teacher Credentialing review. TEP offers a rigorous, 13-month, post-graduate M.Ed.+Credential program (an academic year with 2 summers). It is one of the highest quality programs in the nation, with state-of-the art practice grounded in partner schools, a focus on teaching to reach ALL learners, and teacher educators with established records of success. TEP works with one cohort of teacher candidates per year and keeps the program small to ensure individualized attention for each teacher candidate (approximately 100 candidates). Course- and field-work is concurrent, which means candidates spend the entire academic year in schools, developing their practice with daily guidance, then extending their learning in afternoon/evening courses. This allows for a more streamlined, purposeful integration of university and fieldwork, which drives our faculty to collaborate across all aspects of teacher preparation. TEP strives for a community of learners where everyone – teacher candidates, teacher educators, and K-12 teachers – are working together to meet the needs of our new, our diverse, and our very different generation of learners.

TEP offers a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential for elementary school teachers; a Single Subject Teaching Credential for junior high or high school teachers in: English, Math, Social Science, World Language (French, German, Latin, and Spanish), and Science (Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, and Physics); and, an Education Specialist Moderate/Severe Teaching Credential for special education teachers.