Group photo of certificated honorees Group photo of classified honorees


Santa Barbara Unified School District held its Fifth Annual Night of Stars celebration on Wednesday, April 11th at the Glen Annie Golf Club. The “Night of Stars” is an event that celebrates outstanding educational and classified employees throughout the district.

“It has been an extraordinary year,” said Superintendent Cary Matsuoka. “I am proud to celebrate these exceptional leaders, who serve our district both inside and outside the classroom. They personify what we know and love about our school community. Despite this year’s tragedies, back-to-back natural disasters, that affected our community; Santa Barbara Unified employees demonstrated their resolve to continue to serve and support the education, personal growth and well-being of students and families they serve.”

The 2017-2018 Night of Stars Honorees:

Classified Employees

  • Maria Cardoso, Special Education Paraeducator – Adams Elementary School
  • Cecilia Valencia, Assistant Office Coordinator – After School/Expanded Learning Program
  • Miranda Day, Special Education Paraeducator – Cleveland Elementary School
  • Penny Rankin, Paraeducator – Early Education & Support (Started 1987)
  • Alejandra Gutierrez, Coordinator Student/Community Relations – Franklin Elementary School
  • Dru Frick, Curriculum Specialist – Harding University Partnership School
  • Irma Camarillo, Office Assistant – McKinley Elementary School
  • Brendan Whittaker, Special Education Paraeducator – Monroe Elementary School
  • Danielle Swanson-Porter, Special Education Paraeducator – Roosevelt Elementary School
  • Jose Cervantes Ortega, Custodian – Santa Barbara Community Academy
  • Karen Slotnick Lastrico, Curriculum Specialist – Washington Elementary
  • Nina De Anda, Food Service Site Coordinator III – Dos Pueblos High School
  • Tim Favela, Lead Custodian – Goleta Valley Junior High School
  • Kathy Gallo, Special Education Paraeducator – La Colina Junior High School
  • Janina Martinez, Coordinator Student/Community Relations – La Cuesta/Alta Vista/Quetzal Continuation
  • Patty Flores, Office Manager – La Cumbre Junior High School
  • Larry Cook, Campus Safety Assistant – San Marcos High School
  • Carlos Trancoso, Lead Custodian – Santa Barbara Junior High School
  • Carlina Gonzalez, Campus Safety Assistant – Santa Barbara High School
  • Ginger Sandoval, Food Service Coordinator – Santa Barbara Unified Food Service Department

Certificated Employees

  • Chloe (Milligan) Pueschel, Teacher – Adams Elementary
  • Monica Morgan, Teacher – After School/Expanded Learning
  • Katia Rodriguez-Mester, Teacher – Cleveland Elementary
  • Kelly Mendesh,Teacher – Early Education & Support
  • Pedro Guillen, Teacher – Franklin Elementary
  • Dawn Penkala, Teacher – Harding University Partnership School
  • Nicole Boucher, Art Teacher – McKinley Elementary
  • Christine Pesapane, Teacher – Monroe Elementary
  • William “Trey” Farrell, Music Teacher – Roosevelt Elementary
  • Jennifer Connolly, Special Education Teacher – Santa Barbara Community Academy
  • Heather Grosch, Teacher – Washington Elementary
  • Beth Fuste, Teacher – Dos Pueblos High School
  • Bill Gourley, Industrial Arts Teacher – Goleta Valley Junior High School
  • James Bedard, Special Education Teacher – La Cuesta/Alta Vista/ Quetzal Continuation
  • Elizabeth Heron, Special Education Teacher – La Colina Junior High School
  • Jesus Campos, Counselor – La Cumbre Junior High School
  • Jeff Ashton, Math Teacher – San Marcos High School
  • Kathleen Glenn, Math Teacher – Santa Barbara Junior High School
  • Marcy Porter, Head Counselor – Santa Barbara High School