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Santa Barbara County Teacher of the Year announced: Gregory Wolf of Santa Ynez Valley Union High School

Santa Barbara County Education Office

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. – County officials named Gregory Wolf, a social sciences teacher at Santa Ynez Valley Union High School, the 2024 Santa Barbara County Teacher of the Year.

Wolf has been teaching for 10 years. The county said he is an "inspirational teacher who brings joy to learning - and the 'undisputable heartbeat' of the social sciences department."

Teaching U.S. History, Political Science and Advanced Placement Psychology, Wolf has also served as the social sciences department chair, vice president of the Parent Teacher Student Association, and Associated Student Body Activities Director, according to the county.

The announcement came during a ceremony held Friday at the county's Education Office during a regular board meeting.

"Teaching is a very demanding profession that entails a lot of personal sacrifice, but the kids make it more than worth it," said Wolf after the recognition. "We have an amazing group of students at Santa Ynez High School, and I am extremely blessed to be able to work with them. They inspire me in unimaginable ways and I look forward to many more years of serving them to the best of my ability.”

The county said that as the recipient from Santa Barbara County, Wolf is eligible for the California Teacher of the Year award.

“Every morning, a question I ask myself is: what can I do today to ensure that the experience of all my students is meaningful and positive? I believe that for all people in education, if that is what drives us, then everything else will work itself out,” said Wolf.

County Superintendent of Schools Susan Salcido said Wolf "embodies all of those qualities the most exemplary teachers possess. From top to bottom, from every corner of the campus, Greg is beloved, appreciated, and known as the ‘go-to’ person for just about everything. In one colleague’s words, ‘Greg is truly the full package when it comes to embodying the soul of an outstanding educator.’ We congratulate Greg and the entire Santa Ynez High School team on this momentous occasion, and look forward to learning more about - and from - Greg in the coming year.”

PC: Santa Barbara County Education Office

Officials said the County Board of Education member Nadra Ehrman, who was a part of the Teacher of the Year selection committee, said “What stood out about Greg is his vision. Greg has this vision for the future of education and how we need to be able to equip children and youth for their future.”

Greg said “My class needs to be a safe space where all students feel seen and heard. My classroom experience is designed to put students at the center of everything. I aim to give students ownership of their own learning with the goal of facilitating engagement, development of critical thinking skills, creativity, and a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment that will hopefully fuel every student’s desire to pursue success in their own lives beyond the classroom.”

The county said that Wolf, along with other award-winning teachers from Santa Barbara County, will be introduced at SBCEO’s Education Celebration on Thursday, May 11, and officially honored at the annual A Salute to Teachers event held in November at the Music Academy.

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santa barbara county teacher of the year
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