Mandi de Witte, alumna of UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School, was named the 2019 Santa Barbara County Teacher of the Year. She will be given the honor at A Salute to Teachers, presented by the Santa Barbara County Education Office and Cox Communications, on November 3. The gala Salute to Teachers is the premier teacher recognition event honoring teachers countywide.
Mandi de Witte, nee Gascoigne, earned her single subject teaching credential and M.Ed. from UCSB’s Teacher Education Program in 2010. Her undergraduate degree is also from UCSB in microbiology.
The Teacher of the Year program honors and recognizes exceptional teachers on a district, state and national level, and the county winner is put into the running for consideration as California's 2019 Teacher of the year. The state winner moves forward in the competition for the 2019 national teacher of the year.
A science teacher at Carpinteria High School in the Carpinteria Unified School District, de Witte is in her eighth year of teaching, having previously taught in the Ventura Unified School District. Gerardo Cornejo, her principal, states that her “dedication and commitment to the education of our students is evident every day in the engaging and challenging lessons she creates for our students. Carpinteria High School is fortunate to have her as a teacher, mentor and role model.”
de Witte had previously been named Ventura Chamber of Commerce Educator of the Year in 2015 when se taught at the Will Rogers Two-Way Immersion School of Environmental Science. There she led their STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) magnet school implementation, not only teaching science to elementary students but also training teachers.
She is also a lead teacher in the South Coast Science Project, a UC Santa Barbara-based center providing professional development for teachers in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties through a variety of programs that assist teachers in the delivery of the content of the Science Standards to their students.