The Rotary Club of Santa Barbara selected Marco Silva as its Elementary School Teacher of the Year. Silva teaches kindergarten at Peabody Charter School in the Santa Barbara Unified School District.
Since 1986, the club has honored outstanding teachers from South Coast schools each year. It awards a high school, junior high, elementary, and special education teacher with a certificate and a $1,000 check to spend on classroom needs.
Silva was recognized at the club’s luncheon meeting on Oct. 23.
“This kind of continuing support for local educators is one of the great things about living in this community,” said Santa Barbara County Superintendent of Schools Bill Cirone, whose office coordinates the recognition with the Rotary Club of Santa Barbara. “It is gratifying to highlight the positive impacts teachers have on their students and schools. The annual Rotary awards provide recognition and resources for outstanding teachers to enhance the classroom experience.”
“The Rotary Club of Santa Barbara is committed to supporting the Santa Barbara County Education Office, as together we honor excellent local teachers like Marco,” said Brian Sarvis, chairman of the Teacher Recognition Committee of the Rotary Club of Santa Barbara. “Rotary of Santa Barbara and Rotary International members know that educators like Marco Silva are shaping the minds of young students, who one day will be the leaders of our community. Marco’s heart for students is evident, and he serves as an inspiration for everyone.”
“Marco is an outstanding educator,” said Demian Barnett, Peabody Charter School Principal. “He is as passionate and devoted an educator as I have come across in my tenure in education. His ability to connect with students is one of the many things that make him such a great teacher.”
Silva has been at Peabody for 11 years. He earned an undergraduate degree from CSU Northridge, and received his teaching credential from UCSB in 1995. In addition to teaching at Peabody, he has also worked in the Santa Barbara Unified School District as an instructional aide and a long-term third grade substitute.
“One of my educational beliefs is that it is okay to make mistakes,” Silva says. “I try to make our classroom and our community a safe space where it is okay to make mistakes. Other students may have made the same mistake or given the same answer. If handled correctly, mistakes can become valuable teaching moments.”
Silva and his partner of 17 years, Gary Mosel, have a two-year-old Fox Red Labrador. His parents, siblings, and nieces all reside in Oxnard.
Silva is the first in his family to attend college, and he is the first to earn a graduate degree. Another “first” is this public recognition by the Rotary Club. “My students and their parents are always very supportive of me,” Silva says, “as are my school administrators. But this honor, coming from such a distinguished group, is both humbling and gratifying. It says a lot about how the Santa Barbara community values education.”
The Rotary Club of Santa Barbara meets at Fess Parker’s Doubletree Resort in Santa Barbara for lunch from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Fridays. Recipients of the club’s Teacher Recognition Awards are made with the assistance of the Teacher Programs and Support department of the Santa Barbara County Education Office.
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