Alisyn Blanton named 2022 Santa Barbara County Teacher of the Year

May 6, 2021

Today, the Santa Barbara County Board of Education announced Alisyn Blanton, a fifth-grade teacher at Miguelito Elementary School in the Lompoc Unified School District, as the 2022 Santa Barbara County Teacher of the Year. As the recipient of this prestigious award, Blanton represents the county’s exceptional educators.  She is eligible for the state and national Teacher of the Year recognition programs.

“Alisyn is a gifted educator who shares her love of learning throughout her classroom and school community.  She is committed to educational excellence and demonstrates her passion, skill, and dedication with energy and fervor,” said Santa Barbara County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Susan Salcido. “Teachers like Alisyn inspire students to learn, grow, achieve, and succeed.”

“During the pandemic, we have been working to provide a high quality, rigorous and accountable education that simply looks and feels different at home.  We have worked harder than we ever have in our entire careers.  We reinvented our scripts and even threw them away for new ones.  We are working to engage students in ways we never imagined.  This is because teaching is a profession of pride, not payout,” said Ms. Blanton.  “I envy no committee that must work to select one teacher to represent this profession in the midst of a pandemic.  We are EACH and ALL truly Teachers of the Year.  I have never been prouder to be a teacher in Santa Barbara County.”

Choosing the Santa Barbara County Teacher of the Year is no easy process. Each nominee completes an extensive application and submits letters of recommendation. A committee reviews the applications and selects finalists. During the interview process, these finalists share a unique instructional practice via Zoom and discuss their educational philosophy.

Lompoc Unified School District Superintendent Trevor McDonald said, “Alisyn’s dedication and grit is a rarity.  Her students are better for it.  Alisyn is able to bring out the best in others.  Her zeal for teaching and learning is infectious.  Alisyn is committed to student improvement, making school what we all dream of.”

“Alisyn creates an engaging classroom culture that not only accepts and celebrates differences but does so while holding high expectations for all of her students and honoring the ideal that ALL kids can learn,” said Becky Sausker, Principal of Miguelito Elementary School. “Her ingenuity and willingness to learn helped her adapt that same classroom culture to the remote universe.”

Blanton is a graduate of the University of California Santa Barbara with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. After working for the Community Action Commission, she returned to school, pursuing her Master of Arts in Education from University of California Santa Cruz. She has been with the Lompoc Unified School District since 2004, teaching at Los Berros Elementary, Fillmore Elementary, and Miguelito Elementary, where she has taught since 2004.

In 2001, Ms. Blanton received a $20,000 fellowship to support her studies at UC Santa Cruz after committing to teach at an underperforming school for four years.  She has dedicated her career with the belief that all students can achieve.