Gevirtz School alumni Elsy Mora and Kendall Stevens win 2022 Santa Barbara County educator awards

Wednesday, September 7, 2022
Elsy Mora and Kendall Stevens

Elsy Mora and Kendall Stevens, 2022 SBCEO Distinguished New Educators

UC Santa Barbara’s Teacher Education Program alumni Elsy Mora and Kendall Stevens will be two of the honorees at the ninth annual Salute to Teachers gala in November at the Music Academy of the West. Mora and Stevens have been named 2022 Distinguished New Educators.

Sponsored by The Santa Barbara County Education Office (SBCEO)—in partnership with Cox Communications and other organizations across Santa Barbara County—this event recognizes teaching excellence and features new and mentor teachers who contribute to their students and schools in extraordinary ways.

Each year, school administrators, colleagues, and others are invited t to nominate new teachers who demonstrate early career success and outstanding skill. Final winners are chosen by a selection committee made up of expert educators, administrators, business and community partners, and a previous county Teacher of the Year.

Elsy Mora (TEP, SST/Mathematics, M.Ed., ’21) is a Math teacher at La Colina Junior High who has fully immersed herself in the school within her first year of teaching. She fosters meaningful connections with students and is a hardworking, dedicated colleague. She was elected to represent the Math department in monthly site meetings and makes decisions on behalf of the math team. Elsy’s colleague refers to her as a “unicorn” because she is a fully credentialed, bilingual Latinx math teacher who also has a degree in Chicano Studies. While at the Gevirtz School, Mora was a recipient of the 2021 PEAC Community Fellowship.

Kendall Stevens (TEP, SST/Social Science, M.Ed., ’21) is a teacher at La Cumbre Junior High, teaching 8th grade Social Studies. She has quickly defined herself as an innovative, enthusiastic, and motivated educator. In addition to the subjects she teaches, Kendall stepped up to advise the leadership club and has organized more opportunities for student connection on campus, including costume contents, games, and dances. While at the Gevirtz School, Stevens was a recipient of the 2021 TEP Alumni Fellowship.