EXCELLENCE in EDUCATION
At Westmont’s 2011 Homecoming event, the Education Department began what they hope will be an annual tradition of honoring two alums who demonstrate Excellence in Education. The department welcomes information of alums who are making a positive impact in the field of education.
Krista Beard ‘94
Excellence in Education honoree 2011
Elementary School Educator
During her years at Westmont, Krista Beard got involved with sidewalk Sunday School on the Eastside and captured a bold vision of the impact a person could make by living, serving, and working in a community. Krista is now living out this vision.
For 18 years, Krista has taught in Goleta elementary schools as a grade level teacher, a science educator, and a reading specialist. About twelve years ago Krista purchased a home in the heart of Old Town. Krista built relationships with her neighbors and within a few years invited neighborhood children to join her for a homework club held in her garage. The homework cub has now grown to include 80 youth from fourth grade through high school. Krista and her growing ministry team also began a summer Vacation Bible School in her backyard. After four summers, they teamed up with a local church, Coastline Community Church of the Nazarene, where the program is now held.
The vision Krista captured as a college student is now in full bloom as she lives, serves, and teaches in a local community. Krista notices that as she seeks to meet the felt needs of the people, it becomes a natural platform to share conversations of faith. Though sometimes messy and complicated, Krista sees God at work in her life.
Casey Roberts ‘80
Excellence in Education honoree 2011
Casey Roberts embodies what it means to be a life-long learner and professional educator. Casey started his teaching career 28 years ago at Santa Barbara Christian and he currently teaches juniors and seniors about Economics, US History and AP US History at Carpinteria High School. He has made an impact on his students, colleagues and the community - - he is truly a legend in Carpinteria and was recently honored as Teacher of the Year for the Carpinteria School District.
According to a colleague of 26 years, “Mr. Roberts is one of the finest men I know. I have seen Casey grow into a master educator and adeserving leader of our faculty. He exudes qualities of stability, intelligence and reasonableness that have made him a mighty contributor to campus culture. His classes are vibrant and engaging to the great benefit of his students. His easy-going congeniality makes him perhaps the most popular teacher on our campus with students and faculty alike.”
Over the years, Casey has made an impact at Westmont by giving back to the Westmont community – he has served on numerous panels and our Teacher Advisory Board, taught a class for the department, spoken at our annual Educator Connections, and has hosted numerous student teachers.
Casey has dedicated his professional life to developing future leaders and citizens of this great country.
Excellence in Education
Kristen (Kristy) Smith ’00 (Liberal Studies) - Fulbright Scholar
Kristen (Kristy) Smith ’00 (Liberal Studies) is one of over 1,600 U.S. citizens who will travel abroad for the 2011-2012 academic year as a Fulbright scholar. In this role, Smith is working at the Instituto Universitário de Lisboa- Lisbon, Portugal supporting Portuguese Professors with their English writing, reading, and speaking skills, teaching lessons, giving presentations on U.S. culture, doing tutorials with professors and students, and leading book clubs on English literature.
After earning a degree in Liberal Studies from Westmont, Kristy pursued a teaching credential. Smith has taught in the Sacramento area in diverse school environments including low income, Title One, bilingual center, English learners as well as high-achieving schools. In addition, Smith developed and taught for a summer literacy program.