Junior Carpinterian of the Year Finalists and Educators of the Year Announced

By the Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce

The Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce, from Goleta to Carpinteria, is proud to announce the upcoming 64th Annual Carpinteria Community Awards Gala. The event will take place on Saturday, April 1, 2023, at the picturesque Rincon Beach Club in Carpinteria from 5:30 to 9:30 PM. The occasion will honor several outstanding individuals who have made remarkable contributions to the Carpinteria community.

Among the inspiring honorees are two outstanding educators who have made a significant impact on their students, colleagues, and the school community as a whole. Matthew McPherson is a Special Education teacher at Aliso Elementary School. He has been working in Special Education for 7 years and has worked with students across all grade levels with a special focus on social-emotional well-being and mental health. He also serves as Special Education Chairperson, Site Leadership Team member, and CPI Trainer for the district. Jennifer Foster, a math teacher at Carpinteria Middle School, continues her legacy nearly 10 years later after being awarded Carpinteria Teacher of the Year in 2014. She is the Math Department Chair and leads the math teachers in designing engaging lessons and analyzing student assessment data. Her dedication to serving students after school, supporting them in tutorials, has been exemplary.

This year, three exceptional students from Carpinteria High School have been selected as finalist for Junior Carpinterian of the Year award. The winner will be announced at the gala and will receive a $10,000 scholarship this year. The two runners-up will each receive a $3,000 scholarship. These scholarships are significantly more than year’s past thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor. 

Our first finalist is Hugo Alvarado Carmona Aldair. Hugo has been a member of Future Leaders of America since the summer of 2019, serving as president, vice-president, and currently treasurer. He is actively involved in his school community as a member of the Cross Country, and Track and Field teams. Furthermore, he is the president of the Robotics club, working with other students to build a competition worthy robot. Aside from his involvement in various school clubs and organizations, Hugo has received recognition for his academic achievements, including taking Calculus at Santa Barbara City College to better prepare himself for college. He has also received Certificates of Excellence in Mathematics, Engineering, and Computer Science, and earned the Team’s Highest GPA award from his school. Hugo’s passion lies in computer science and coding. He finds the subject engaging and challenging, and he loves exploring new ways to improve his knowledge. Hugo plans to pursue a career in computer science after finishing high school. Hugo’s dedication to his community and academics is an inspiration to his peers and an example of how one person can make a significant impact.

Our second finalist, Monica Adriana Delgado, has been making a significant impact in her community through her various involvements. She has been a member of Girls Inc. of Carpinteria Eureka! program for five years, attending biweekly meetings and completing a 4-week externship at FLIR Technologies, among other activities. She has also been a member of Carpinteria Aquatics Club Swim Team for seven years, Carpinteria High School Water Polo, Varsity Swim Team, Band, Yearbook, and Link Crew, among other school clubs, in which she has

demonstrated exceptional leadership and teamwork skills. Furthermore, Monica has actively engaged in political and social causes through Junior State of America, Recycling Club, Interact Club, and Aquatics Club Public Relations Chair, among others. She has received numerous awards and honors, including California Scholarship Federation, National Hispanic Recognition Program Scholar, Citrus Coast League Academic All-League, and the Girls Inc. Lucile Miller Wright Scholarship. Her outstanding achievements and dedication to her community make her a valuable asset to Carpinteria High School and a source of inspiration to her peers.

Stephanie Ramirez Garcia, our third finalist, has made significant contributions to her community and school. Stephanie’s community involvement includes her role as an ambassador at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. At school, Stephanie is an active participant in sports and academics. She has been playing tennis since August 2019 and has served as captain, leading a beginner JV team through tennis protocol, and assisting the coach in setting up courts for home matches. In addition, Stephanie has been playing basketball since 2019. She is currently a science lab intern, where she prepares and helps with labs for the five different courses in the science department. Stephanie also participates in several clubs, including as the president of Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Spanish Club, and Tennis Club.  Stephanie has achieved several academic awards, including Academic All-League in Tennis and Basketball, Science Award, AP Scholar with Honor, President’s Award for Educational Excellence, and AVID Award. She is also a Mission Scholars participant and a Leadership Representative for the class of 2023 cohort. Stephanie has gained job experience working part time as a cashier at Padaro Beach Grill. She has been recognized with several awards and honors, including Coach’s Award for Tennis, Honorable Mention All-League in Basketball, and MVP in Tennis. Stephanie’s hard work, dedication, and leadership qualities make her a role model for her peers and a valuable member of her community.

This year’s event will also include a special recognition award to Dave Durflinger, who has served the Carpinteria community for the last 24 years as City Manager.  Dave has been a valued member of the community, serving on the Board of Directors for the Carpinteria Valley Chamber of Commerce, Carpinteria Children’s Project, Rotary Club of Carpinteria, and volunteering as the Carpinteria AYSO Soccer Volunteer Coordinator.

The program will not only feature awards for various categories, but also recognize the exceptional work of volunteers and individuals who have made a significant impact on non-profit organizations through Merit Awards. These awards are intended to celebrate outstanding accomplishments and contributions of community members towards the growth and development of the Carpinteria Valley Community. To conclude the event, the highly anticipated announcement of the Carpinterian of the Year award will take place.

The gala will be held on Saturday, April 1, 2023, at 5:30 PM in the outdoor garden at Rincon Beach Club – 3805 Santa Claus Lane in Carpinteria. The gala will include a social hour, dinner, and awards program. Tickets are $150 per person and must be purchased in advance by visiting SBSCChamber.com. Contact Chelsea Weininger atChelsea@sbscchamber.com for questions about the event.

Many thanks to our generous Sponsors:

Presenting Sponsors: Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck and Chevron.

Event Sponsors: Agilent Technologies, BEGA North America, City of Carpinteria, Dirt Botanicals/Pacwest Blooms, E.J. Harrison & Sons, Events By Rincon, ExxonMobil, Granite Construction, Island Brewing Company, LinkedIn, Marborg Industries, and NAPA Coast Auto Parts, Inc.

For sponsorship information, contact Michele at 805-967-2500 ext. 105 or Michele@SBSCChamber.com

About Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce

The Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce, from Goleta to Carpinteria, is a regional, business organization with the mission to help South Coast businesses, residents, and visitors thrive. Through leadership and collaboration, the Chamber is the principal economic development entity advocating for the business community. We engage with businesses, elected officials, and regional partners in proactive business initiatives that foster the South Coast’s unique business environment and create opportunities for our communities. The Chamber is proud to represent local business members who create 75,000 jobs on the South Coast! To learn more, visit sbscchamber.com.


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