Culver City Observer -

Teacher of the Year, Employee of the Year Honored


Sony Pictures Entertainment Teacher of the Year Kelley Robert's from Farragut Elementary School

More award winners than ever before were honored at the Culver City Education Foundation's (CCEF) Tribute to the Stars gala fundraiser.

Kelley Roberts of Farragut Elementary School was chosen as CCUSD's Sony Pictures Entertainment Teacher of the Year. Ms. Roberts was attending her daughter's graduation and unable to be at Tribute this year, but co-workers who texted her with the news say she was in disbelief.

That may seem hard to believe for anyone who knows what a leader she is for her team and school, and how her high expectations, creativity, and exceptional teaching skills foster a love of learning in her students, but she was no doubt aware of how impressive the other teacher nominees were as well.

Debbie Hamme of El Rincon Elementary School was honored and thrilled to be named CCUSD's Rotary Club Classified Employee of the Year. Ms. Hamme is a source of information and inspiration at her school.

Like Ms. Roberts, she was selected from a very strong group of nominees, every one of which makes a positive difference in the lives of our CCUSD students each day.

The evening began with a wine and cheese reception featuring music by Culver City High's Academy of Visual and Performing Arts (AVPA) Jazz Combo.

But this year the students not only performed outdoors, they led the way into the theatre for the awards ceremony. And once the honorees had received their awards, the AVPA Jazz Combo and some singers who had been in this year's AVPA production of A Chorus Line kicked off the Live Auction and Fund-a-Need portion of the program with a song that borrowed a tune from A Chorus Line and used lyrics by Howard Behnken to depict the students' excitement and appreciation for all that CCEF has added to their educational experience.

The kids received a standing ovation.

Professional auctioneer Mark Schustrin ensured that the auction and the opportunity to Fund-A-Need portions of the program moved swiftly, so that everyone could exit out to the street and celebrate.

Rotary Club of Culver City Classified Employee of the Year Debbie Hamme from El Rincon Elementary

Sony's Main Street was lined with 20 of our community's finest restaurants. There were savory and sweet tastings, balloons to pop for prizes, and, of course, 50 chances to win a diamond. All 50 tickets sold in about an hour, and every ticket holder was guaranteed a glass of champagne and a little bag with a sparkling jewel. For 49 of them, that jewel turned out to be a Cubic Zirconium, while one winner went home with a diamond (0.76ct SI quality) worth over $2,000! All of the stones were donated and verified by A1 Jewelry & Loan in Culver City.

CEF would like to thank everyone who made Tribute to the Stars 2015 possible including its 500+ guests. Thank you for what you did for our event, and even more, thank you for all you've done and continue to do to support our students and our schools.


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