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Annual awards dinner toasts top teachers

CARLSBAD — The Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce brought educators, business leaders and community members together May 8 at the La Costa Resort & Spa to honor teachers who create remarkable academic programs in Carlsbad schools.
The chamber’s annual Outstanding Educational Program dinner presented awards in four categories.
The winners are:
— Poinsettia Elementary School, Entrepreneurial Program for its Yearbook Leadership Program created by teacher Nicole Moersch to allow students to learn firsthand how a publishing company operates and to spark their entrepreneurial spirit for writing, photography and layout design. The students were challenged weekly by designing balanced layouts and implementing text, headlines and backgrounds created by the yearbook staff.
— Buena Vista Elementary School, Innovative Program for its Web 2.0 Writing Project, created by teacher Shane Little, providing students the opportunity to use the cutting-edge potential of the Web for their academic work. This project allows students to use dedicated online learning modules, Weblogs and wikis for online publishing of digital schoolwork.
— Magnolia Elementary School, Science Program for its Caring for Cavies, led by teachers Lisa Clark, Jai McClelland and Diana Sturiale, incorporates many academic skills in the areas of science, math, writing and art. Students used Punnet squares to learn about dominate and recessive genes through the study of various coat patterns in the guinea pig offspring bred for this program. The children were excited to see science come alive when the babies produced matched the Punnet square predictions. The students created informational pamphlets on guinea pig care and wrote persuasive essays utilizing their knowledge of cavies. They created posters to advertise the sale of the guinea pigs. All of the proceeds collected are being donated to The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
— Carlsbad High School, The Arts for a Musical Production, led by theater teacher/director Monica Hall, brought students together to study music, drama, dance and technical theater to produce a Broadway-style musical. The students work together to create the sets, props, costumes, lights and sound in a workforce environment. The final product is performed in front of more than 1,500 community members.
“We know that the business of success starts with our schools, which is why we pay tribute to teachers who go above and beyond to make learning gratifying for their students,” said Toni Padron, the chamber’s executive vice president and chief operating officer.
During the evening, winners and finalists were awarded funds of up to $500 to put toward the programs. The teacher of the year from each Carlsbad school and the overall teacher of the year from the Carlsbad Unified and Encinitas Union school districts also received special recognition.
The event included a reception featuring a display of each nominated program, a multimedia presentation of finalist programs and a gourmet dinner.
For more information, call (760) 931-8400 or visit