Santa Maria Sun / School Scene
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 12
Going the distance for education
On May 25, Pioneer Valley High School received a $5,000 grant as part of State Farm California’s Good Neighbor Citizenship Program. The school, which is being recognized for its environmental science program, will use the grant money to support student-led programs that focus on environmental awareness and community projects. The funds will also be used to purchase new technology that will monitor indoor pollution.
For biology teacher Riccardo Magni—who has written more than 40 grants totaling approximately $50,000—receiving yet another grant is just icing on the cake.
Magni’s dedicated teaching efforts caught the attention of officials the Santa Barbara County Office of Education, who recently named him Santa Barbara County Teacher of the Year for 2012-13.
PVHS Principal Shanda Herrera had nothing but positive things to say about her fellow educator.
“He is always looking out for the good of his students, and he is always looking for ways to make school exciting for kids,” Herrera said.
She also said Magni tries to teach his students the importance of being environmentally conscious and making good decisions for the future.
Cassandra Randolph, a former student of Magni’s, was present at the awards ceremony as well.
“I would see him go above and beyond for our class, and it inspired me to go above and beyond as well. He inspires kids to go to college,” she said.
Magni has been teaching for 16 years, and his main goal as a teacher is to prepare kids for the future by making them pay attention to current events and integrating technology into their educations.
“I want to teach them to be independent thinkers,” Magni said.
He said his favorite part of teaching comes from all the student interaction and being able to develop a relationship with his students in the hopes that they will come back in a few years and share their stories with him, just like Cassandra did.
“He is the best teacher I’ve ever had,” Cassandra said. “He believes in all his students.”
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