The Venice Chamber of Commerce Education Committee presented its Third Annual WaVe Awards earlier this month to 13 educators in the Venice area to recognize their achievements in and beyond the classroom.
The WaVe Awards were launched in 2011 by the chamber’s education committee to acknowledge the contributions teachers make every day to the children of Venice and the surrounding areas.
“As citizens of the world, when we’re enthusiastic and share the pleasures and joys of learning with children, our collective ability to change the world for the better is within our reach,” said Joelle Dumas, president of the Venice chamber’s education committee.
The inaugural awards celebrated teachers for “Creative Engagement,” while this year’s honors celebrated  “Nurturing Minds from the Ground Up.”
The teachers are nominated and selected by their peers for excellence and recognized at an awards dinner, where they are introduced by their principal or a fellow teacher and presented with a plaque and a gift bag with donations from local sponsoring businesses.
The local teachers honored and their respective organizations included:
A Window Between Worlds – Christy Turek;
Beethoven Elementary – Sonia Ramos;
Boys & Girls Club of Venice – Valentin Cuellar;
Broadway Elementary Mandarin Immersion – Julia Watanabe;
Coeur d’Alene Elementary –  Cynthia Block;
Ecole Claire Fontaine – Stephanie Goubert;
Mark Twain Middle School- Kerry Olinger;
Venice Arts – Christian Rozier;
Venice High School – Shereen Nagata;
Venice Lutheran – Emily Booth;
Walgrove Elementary School  – Lynn Webster;
Westminster Elementary – Evelyn Soo; and
Westside Global Awareness Magnet – Dr. M. Craig Singer.