Educators from the Orcutt Union and Lompoc Unified school districts were among the 10 recipients of the 2021 Crystal Apple Education Awards selected by the Santa Barbara County Office of Education.

Crystal Apple winners were nominated by their peers and selected for their instructional and motivational skills, as well as their ability to challenge and inspire students and engage meaningfully with the local and school communities, according to education office spokeswoman Valerie Cantella.

Two awards were given for each category, including certificated support providers, elementary teachers, secondary teachers, classified employees and administrators. 

Elizabeth Tymn, a first grade teacher at Pine Grove Elementary School in Orcutt, was honored in the elementary teacher category. She was described by one of the nominating parents as a "leader, confidant, mediator, nurturer, protector, supporter, and cheerleader."

From the Lompoc Unified School District, Maple High School Career Technical Education teacher Rebecca Ingrahm received a secondary education award along with former assistant superintendent of business services John Karbula, who received an administrator award.

A student of Ingrahm's who nominated her for the award described her as someone who looks for new ways to engage students and make them believe they have can be successful. 

"I started believing in myself and taking life seriously once I started this school and had this teacher. She reminded us that we were smart and had so much potential, but we had to work hard to become the best," the student said.

A former colleague of Karbula who nominated him for the award described the former administrator as someone who always put students first despite spending most of his time outside of classrooms.

Tymn, Ingrahm and Karbula will be honored along with the other seven winners at the county's virtual Education Celebration on May 27. The award also includes a stipend.

“Through their compassion, perseverance, and efforts, these 10 individuals inspire and impact students throughout Santa Barbara County. It is our privilege to recognize each recipient with this distinctive award,” Santa Barbara County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Susan Salcido said.

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