Orcutt Union School District music teacher Josie Coburn has been honored as the 2022 Santa Barbara Bowl Performing Arts Teacher of the Year by the Santa Barbara County Office of Education.
Coburn has taught music and band classes for eight years at district schools including Orcutt Academy High School, Lakeview and Orcutt junior high schools, and Patterson and Joe Nightingale elementary schools, education office spokeswoman Valerie Cantella said.
The award is offered in partnership with Santa Barbara Bowl through the Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation Education Outreach, which supports local performing arts programs through grants, instrument donations and other resources.
Coburn was chosen for the award due to her passion for music education and ability to inspire elementary through high school students, according to county education officials.
“SBCEO is honored to recognize Ms. Coburn for inspiring her students through music and band. The arts are essential, and Ms. Coburn and her students prove that every day through music,” said Santa Barbara County Superintendent of Schools Susan Salcido.
Musical education in the Orcutt Union School District has grown substantially under Coburn's direction, with the district's band program tripling in size and Orcutt Academy's school band in particular quadrupling in size in recent years, district Superintendent Holly Edds said.
Orcutt Academy Class of 2019 alumnus Trenton Kozel summed up just how valuable educators like Coburn are to the county, saying that her example as a band teacher inspired him to pursue his own career in music education.
“She is so willing to work harder than anyone, stay longer than anyone, and go the extra mile, and when you see her do that, it makes you want to be better and be like her. She is one of the best examples I’ve ever had,” Kozel said.
Coburn will be recognized for her award during a Nov. 6 Salute to Teachers event along with other award-winning educators in the county, according to Cantella.