Supporting Innovative Educators and Classrooms

Supporting Innovative Educators and Classrooms

At Calavera Hills Middle School in Carlsbad, students are using 3-D printers to make prosthetic hands and other devices for children throughout the world. Along the way, they are learning real-life applications of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Innovative programs like Calavera Hills’ makerspace program are blossoming in the San Diego region. These programs, along with several outstanding educators who represent the future of K-12 education, are being recognized today at a special event: the Innovation in Education Awards.

It’s our local version of the Academy Awards for education. In its 15th year, the event is organized by the Classroom of the Future Foundation (CFF).  In addition to the Innovation Awards, SDG&E has supported the foundation’s STEM TeamRED Workshop Series and Career Pathways Initiative for over 20 years. Christy Ihrig, our director of marketing, media and communications, serves on the CFF foundation board of directors.

Our Chief Operating Officer, Caroline Winn, is a former CFF board chair and a role model and advocate for STEM education. Tonight, she will join more than 500 educators and civic leaders to celebrate the award winners. Winn will present the 2018 Innovative Superintendent Award to Dr. David Miyashiro​ who leads the Cajon Valley Union School District. In recognition of his achievement, SDG&E will make a $1,000 donation to the education program of Miyashiro’s choice in his school district.

Leading by Example

Winn herself will be honored at the event with the Foundation’s highest award: the Todd W. Gutschow Visionary & Outstanding Leadership Award. Gutschow, who passed away last year, was one of CFF’s biggest champions. The CFF foundation renamed the leadership award in his honor last summer.

The Award recognizes Winn for her life-long commitment to improving education in local schools and bringing innovation to our community.

An electrical engineer by training, Winn is deeply committed to getting more girls into STEM careers. She is a leading champion of SDG&E’s Inspiring Future Leaders initiative, which provides support to local STEM programs and non-profit partners dedicated to cultivating the next generation of diverse, prepared and skilled leaders in our communities.  Winn is also leading our #BeThatGirl initiative, whereby women at SDG&E are volunteering as role models and mentors for young girls in our communities, encouraging them to pursue studies and careers in engineering, meteorology, environmental science, computer science, biology and biotech, and many other STEM fields.

Education Innovations Spotlighted Countwide

Winners of this year’s Innovation in Education Awards come from every corner of San Diego County.

Innovation Awards

  • Impact Award: Design & Modeling, Calavera Hills Middle School, Carlsbad Unified School District
  • Achieve Award: Encinitas Farm Lab, Encinitas Union School District
  • Innovate Award: Talent Cities, Vista Unified School District
  • Inspire Award: Digital to Physical, Valley Middle School, Carlsbad Unified School District
  • Honorable Mention Achieve Award: Innovation Station, Chula Vista Elementary School District
  • Honorable Mention Innovate Award: T.H.E. Leadership Academy Garden, T.H.E. Leadership Academy, Vista Unified School District
  • Honorable Mention Inspire Award: South Bay Pumpkin Smash, Sweetwater Union High School District

Special Awards

  • Todd W. Gutschow Visionary & Outstanding Leadership Award: Caroline Winn, Chief Operating Officer, SDG&E
  • Innovative Superintendent Award: Dr. David Miyashiro, Superintendent, Cajon Valley Union School District
  • Innovative Educator Award: Dr. Erin English, Director of 21st Century Teaching & Learning, Oceanside Unified School District
  • Innovative Principal Award: Nicola Labas, Principal Innovation Middle School, San Diego Unified School District
  • Career Pathways Educator of the Year Award: Richard Oka, Teacher, Clairemont High School San Diego Unified School District
  • SDCUE Innovative TOSA of the Year Award: Christine Dixon, Innovation Coordinator, TOSA, Double Peak K8 School, San Marcos Unified School District
  • SDCUE Innovative Teacher of the Year Award: Charity Shepard, Teacher, Double Peak K8 School, San Marcos Unified School District

To see what an innovative classroom looks like, watch this CBS 8 story on the Calavera Hills Middle School makerspace program: