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.


Rebecca Leftwich Hodson ‘85

Excellence in Education honoree 2015

Rebecca HodsonRebecca Hodson, has served Providence and the greater Santa Barbara community with her musical talents for years. She is an outstanding educator and director who brings passion and enthusiasm to her classroom, performances, and the stage. Westmont enthusiastically honored Rebecca Hodson '85 with the 2015 Excellence in Education Award.

One of Ms. Hodson's students recently proclaimed, "Ms. Hodson is the most genuine and caring teacher I've ever had. She is always willing, and so often does, take time out of her day after school to help us perfect our music, or just talk to us about life. She delves deep into every piece of music we learn, and is so genuine in how she cares for us and runs her classroom."

A Providence parent noted, "Through dedication to her students and craft, Ms. Hodson creates award-winning choral groups, advances the musical skill and knowledge of each student, and establishes a community that values the beauty in music, musicianship, and worship."


Mary Osgood

Excellence in Education honoree 2014

Mary OsgoodMary Osgood, longterm educator and Principal of Coastline Christian, was honored with the Excellence in Education Award in Spring 2014. A colleague describes Mary as "a leader in education at Coastline and in our community. She is an example of integrity and excellence in all that she does. But, even more important than that, Mary leads us closer to the Lord and to his son, Jesus Christ in her Godly example of humility, kindness, and love.” The Westmont Education Department recognizes Mary's dedication to children, academics, and Christian education.


Ann Peak

Excellence in Education honoree 2014

Ann Peak photo

Ann Peak was also honored with the Excellence in Education Award in Spring 2014. She has faithfully served as the Coordinator for Certificated Personnel and Human Resources for the Santa Barbara Unified School District for over 20 years. Ann is described as "offering exceptional customer service to every person she meets. She makes new teachers feel welcome and shepherds them through every step of the employment process. Ann is known throughout the District for her responsiveness, her kindness, and her professionalism. As a member of the District's bargaining team, Ann brings historical perspective and common sense to every encounter. Additionally, Ann is an exemplary team member whose actions show that there is no I in team.” The Westmont Education Department recognizes Ann's impact on the school district and larger educational community throughout the years.


Tine ’55 and Jan Rice ’56 Hardeman Family

Excellence in Education honorees 2013

The Hardemans Field a team of Teachers

Hardeman Family

Tine ’55 and Jan Rice ’56 Hardeman have established a dynasty of committed teachers, successful coaches and global Christians that includes nine alumni. In January, the Westmont Education Department honored three generations of Hardemans with their 2012-13 Excellence in Education Award.

The story begins with Tine and Jan, who’ve devoted their lives to Faith Academy in the Philippines. Tine taught science, Bible and physical education at this school for missionary children for 44 years and coached basketball and volleyball. Jane served for 54 years as the school nurse.

“Our grandpa taught us to love basketball and modeled how wonderful being a teacher is,” says Katie Hardeman ’04, who represented the fam-ily at the ceremony. “He taught us that when you’re fully dependent on God, life can be an adventure and you can make an impact on others and spread his kingdom.”

Four of Tine’s and Jan’s children graduated from Westmont and entered the family business. Tine Jr. ’78 spent two years teaching at Seoul Foreign School in South Korea before moving to Los Angeles, where he has worked for 27 years, teaching mostly history at Paramount High School and Troy High School. He has coached varsity boys basketball for 21 years and collegiate women’s basketball for eight years.

After spending five years at Goleta Christian School, Terri Hardeman Turner ’80 has taught kindergarten at Santa Ynez Elementary School for 22 years. Her husband, James Turner ’80 has been a Lompocscience teacher for 15 years.

Tom Hardeman ’82 started his career in elementary education at Buellton School (five years) and then moved overseas, spending 14 years at Christian Academy in Japan and six years at Faith Academy, where he serves as superintendent. He has also coached volleyball and basketball. His wife, Maddy, is a biology teacher.

For 22 years, Todd Hardeman ’90 has taught third or fourth grade at Brent International School in Manila, and he has coached varsity boys basketball for 17 years. His wife, Robin, has taught science at both Brent and Faith Academy and has coached girls volleyball.

Katie ’04 (her father is Tine Jr.) has taught high school history and English for five years inLos Angeles, and spent one year teaching in Mozambique. She played basketball at Westmont and coaches girls basketball. Her former coach, Gregg Afman, describes her as the epitome of a student-athlete. He commends the family “for not only being committed educators but doing it in a way that demonstrates Christ.”

Tom’s daughter, Kelsey Hardeman ’10, has taught first and third grades at Christian Academy in Japan and coached girls basketball and volleyball. She also played basketball at Westmont. Liz Hardeman ’17, Todd’s daughter, began her first year at Westmont last August.

“The Hardeman family represents Westmont’s ideals to be a global, Christian, liberal arts institution,” says Professor Andrew Mullen, who chairs the education department. “When you look at all the subjects they have taught, they could almost start their own college.”

“This award honors God because he’s the one who called us to Westmont, gave us these gifts and abilities to be teachers, and gave us a desire to see his kingdom grow,” Katie says. “God has worked in our family in a unique way. I’m thankful Westmont taught us how to live as followers of Christ.”

Krista Beard ‘94
Excellence in Education honoree 2011

Krista Beard

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

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.