Isla Vista Youth Projects (IVYP) honored two early childhood-education advocates, alumna and Director of Instructional Services at Goleta Union School District, Dr. Liz Barnitz, and James S. Bower Foundation President, Jon Clark, with the first annual LEAP Award late last month. The acronym implies significant jumps forward, standing for Learn, Engage, Advocate, and Partner. The two were selected for their contributions and commitments-in-action to the Goleta Valley community’s success in Education.
“I’m honored to receive this award,” said Barnitz. “Yet, this is not an award for one person, it’s never one person, and it’s never one organization, it’s the collective that impacts change.” A UC Santa Barbara Gaucho throughout all stages, Barnitz completed a PhD from the Department of Education in 2016 with an emphasis in Education Leadership and Organizations (ELO), a Master’s from the Gevirtz School in 2004, and B.A. from UCSB prior to. During her time at Gevirtz, Barnitz was named “K-12 Educator of the Year” by Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce (2013) for her work then as Principal at El Camino Elementary School, a certified “No Excuses University” school, meaning it is one of a network of schools united in the conviction that all children, even those living in poverty or learning English, can be academically successful and attend college. Read more about Dr. Barnitz and Clark here.
Founded in 1971, IVYP has provided assistance to children and families regardless of income. Starting as a grassroots organization serving 12 children daily, it is now a multi-program, award-winning agency helping some 1,800 families annually at five sites. For more information or to make a donation, visit www.ivyp.org.