Education Office Names Technical Educator Award Winners

The Santa Barbara County Education Office (SBCEO) has announced the winners of the Marvin Melvin Career Technical Educator Awards.

They are Dan Howard, an industrial technology teacher at Pioneer Valley High School in Santa Maria; and Chris Mollkoy, a construction technology teacher at Dos Pueblos High School in Santa Barbara.

The annual awards, sponsored by the Frank Schipper Construction Company and TRADART Foundation, are given to outstanding career technical educators in Santa Barbara County, in memory of long-time Santa Barbara High School industrial arts teacher, Marvin Melvin.

“We are so grateful for innovative, visionary teachers like Dan and Chris,” said County Superintendent of Schools Susan Salcido.

“These teachers excel at integrating core academic knowledge with technical and occupational knowledge,” she said. “In doing so, they provide students with a pathway to postsecondary education and careers.”

“Mr. Howard works tirelessly to train our student journalists and photographers,” said Pioneer Valley Principal Shanda Herrera.

“As he trains his students on multiple technical programs, he has also used this as a springboard to bring kids into his yearbook production crew, and cross-train in both areas,” Herrera said.

“There is no doubt that he embodies the spirit of this award and that his students are receiving instruction of the highest caliber,” Herrera said.

The example Mollkoy sets for students and colleagues alike is also impressive. “He is the ultimate professional,” said Dos Pueblos Vice Principal Lauren Berlin.

“He brings a strong skill set to the job, and also realizes that the best way to support students is to continue to expand his own knowledge of the field, trade, and tools in order to provide the most current and relevant instruction to his classes,” Berlin said.

“You can’t help but smile and laugh when in his presence,” Berlin said. “It is no wonder why his students request to take his classes year after year.”

The annual awards are coordinated by the SBCEO Teachers Network. Frank Schipper, a former student of Melvin’s, excelled in learning and applying machine shop skills, even won an award for building a wood lathe under his teacher’s supervision.

The award was created to honor Melvin’s teaching legacy and impact on his students. One North County and one South County career technical educator receives this honor annually.

Both educators will be among those honored at the annual Education Celebration May 24 at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott in Buellton.

— David J. Lawrence for Santa Barbara County Education Office.


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TRADART Foundation