Staff Report

Two teachers from the Santa Ynez Valley were honored Nov. 2 at A Salute to Teachers, presented by Cox Communications and the Santa Barbara County Education Office.

Anthony Bruemmer

Anthony Bruemmer, who teaches fourth grade at Santa Ynez Elementary School, received the 2020 Santa Barbara County distinguished new educator award. Amy Willis of Los Olivos Elementary was chosen as a Distinguished Mentor.

“A Salute to Teachers is a wonderful way to honor our outstanding local educators who inspire young minds each day and who model professional excellence,” said County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Susan Salcido.

Michele Frantz of Joe Nightingale School in the Orcutt Union School District was named the 2020 Santa Barbara County Teacher of the Year.

Bree Jansen, a dance, choreography and cheerleading teacher at Lompoc High in the Lompoc Unified School District, was honored as the 2020 Santa Barbara County Performing Arts Teacher of the Year.

Willis was chosen by teachers she mentored. They remarked on her creativity, innovation and 21st-century learning skills as a model for all staff.

After graduating from UCSB, Willis volunteered with AmeriCorps in Washington, D.C., and earned her multiple-subject credential from Antioch University Santa Barbara with a supplemental credential in English from UC Riverside. She is in her 17th year of teaching three grade levels of English to middle school students, as well as Creative Expression, Leadership and Yearbook. She also is the student body adviser.

When Bruemmer applied to teach at Santa Ynez Elementary, he included an old elementary school photo of himself to remind Superintendent Maurene Donnor that he had been a student in her second-grade class. He quickly proved he belonged.

Bruemmer was described as an enthusiastic, dedicated professional who serves on the school’s Multitiered Support System Leadership Team, is a school Behavior Team coach, and is a member of the district Academic Team, At-Risk Committee and the school’s LCAP Committee.

He also co-taught the Student Council program and coordinated the school’s first Talent Show. In his spare time, he launched the district’s Facebook and Twitter accounts and acquired ownership of the district’s account.

Passionate about his job, Bruemmer believes that teachers who love what they do influence happiness and success in their students.

“We appreciate the premier sponsorship Cox provides along with the generous support of our other event sponsors.  It illustrates the value Santa Barbara County places upon high-quality education,” Salcido added.

In addition to Cox, Salute to Teachers is sponsored by Noozhawk, Anthem Blue Cross, Fielding Graduate University, Montecito Bank & Trust, the Santa Barbara Bowl and the SBCC Foundation.