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Former Santa Barbara County Superintendent of Schools Bill Cirone and members of the Santa Barbara County Education Office (SBCEO) recently made a surprise visit to San Marcos High School in the Santa Barbara Unified School District to honor the 2019 recipients of the Bill Cirone Heart of Education Award. 

According to the education office, educators Jamie DeVries and Jillian Heckman were chosen for their exemplary leadership skills in the Kids Helping Kids (KHK) program, a student-run non-profit organization founded in 2002 that has raised over $3.1 million to support other non-profit ventures locally and internationally.

DeVries and Heckman use KHK to teach real-world application of the principles of advanced placement economics.  

The education office says the award is named after retired Santa Barbara County Superintendent Bill Cirone, a Santa Ynez Valley resident, recognizing outstanding educators who demonstrate passion for the profession, creativity, and compassion for students — the same virtues with which Superintendent Cirone operated his 34 years in office.

Cirone and his wife Barbara delivered the announcement to DeVries and Heckman who will be formally awarded on May 23 at the Education Celebration.

Jonata Middle School students now have an additional 48 new Google Chromebooks to use for schoolwork following a delivery from the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians Foundation. The donation, valued at more than $13,000, was the fulfillment of a grant request made by the Buellton school, which submitted an application through the tribe’s Technology in Schools Program for the 2018-19 school year, a tribe spokesman said.

Lisa André covers Valley Life for Santa Ynez Valley News. 

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