VC Innovates Presents 2016 Pathfinder Career Education Awards

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Ventura County’s most innovative educators, businesses and community partners who have excelled in supporting career and technical education were honored today by VC Innovates at a luncheon at the Spanish Hills Country Club in Camarillo. Education Awards were presented to representatives from each of the 14 VC Innovates partner schools and school districts. Business Partner awards were presented to recipients in each of the 12 VC Innovates industry sectors. The awards recognize individuals who have set the standard for education and workforce collaboration (click here for photos). The honorees are:

The Education Pathfinder Award for 2016:                                                                                           

  • Moorpark College: Dr. Subhash Karkare
  • Oxnard College: Jeff Hiben
  • Ventura College: Debbie Newcomb
  • ACE Charter High School: Bill Cooney
  • Conejo Unified School District: Dave Tyler
  • Fillmore Unified School District: Jeremy MacMahon
  • Moorpark Unified School District: Alan Penner
  • Oak Park Unified School District: Erik Amerikaner
  • Oxnard Union High School District: Jim Rose and Bruce Ritchie
  • Ojai Unified School District: Linda Bednarski
  • Santa Paula Unified School District: Nilson Lopez
  • Simi Valley Unified School District: John Baxter
  • Ventura Unified School District: Kayla Hernandez
  • Ventura County Office of Education Career Education Center: Tacha Robles


The Business Partner Pathfinder Award for 2016:

  • Agriculture & Natural Resources: Scott & Cindy Klittich, Otto & Sons Nursery
  • Arts, Media & Entertainment: Carl DiStefano, Paramount Pictures
  • Building & Construction: Joshua Weir, J Weir Masterworks, Inc.
  • Business & Finance: Greg Van Ness, Tolman & Wiker
  • Energy, Environment & Utilities: Brandon Titus, Pax Environmental, Inc.
  • Engineering:  Nathalie Gosset, IEEE, Buenaventura Section
  • Health Science and Medical Technology: Sergio Coppa, United Blood Services
  • Hospitality, Tourism and Recreation: Shannon Hillygus, Ventura Beach Marriott
  • Manufacturing & Product Development: Kathy Looman, Haas Automation
  • Navy: Monica James, NBVC (Naval Base Ventura County)
  • Public Services: Sergeant John Franchi, Ventura County Sheriff's Dept. (Camarillo Police Department)
  • Transportation: Gibbs International Truck Centers

The Regional Pathfinders for 2016:

  • Bruce Ritchie, Oxnard Union High School District
  • Andy Cawalti, Ventura County Community College District

VC Innovates is a collaborative endeavor bringing together educators, businesses and community partners to apply innovative approaches to the education experience, and seamlessly prepare future workers and leaders for the workforce. VC Innovates focuses on preparing students for high-demand local positions in sectors recognized as the economic drivers of our region. The program creates pathways from education to employment in industries that include information technology, health science, agriculture, energy and more. Partners include the Ventura County Office of Education, the Ventura County Community College District, nine local school districts, ACE Charter School and dozens of area businesses.

Learn more about VC Innovates at: