March 27, 2024

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to announce the winners of our 2023/2024 Teacher Awards!! We had a record setting number of nominations and regret that there was not an award for each of those amazing educators. Everyone in attendance at our CAWS Spring Seminar enjoyed celebrating the achievements of those selected this year.

Professional Development Winners

These deserving winners will receive reimbursement to attend their events.

IB Global Conference in Washington DC

Jennifer Stahl, Competitive Edge Charter Academy

CAWS IB Training in Lake Tahoe

Maria Velasco, Pacific Beach Middle School

CAWS Exemplary Educators

These incredible teachers will receive $500.00 and a plaque

Tekoa Chilcote, Vista Academy of Visual and Performing Arts , PYP

Kelsey Courneya, Roosevelt International Middle School, MYP

Jaime Huert, Monte Vista Christian School, DP

CAWS 2024 IB Global Conference Award Winner

Jennifer Stahl, an educator at Competitive Edge Charter Academy in Yucaipa, California, embodies an unwavering commitment to action and innovation. Through her dynamic approach to learning, she seamlessly integrates community connections such as the Fork Farm Connection and the Angel Tree Project, providing students with hands-on experiences that transcend the classroom. Jennifer's dedication to the IB mission statement and Learner Profile is evident in her thoughtful unit building, lesson reflection, and collaborative feedback processes, all aimed at propelling student growth. She consistently demonstrates persistence and adaptability, whether reinvigorating the school's exhibition

or supporting teachers in post-COVID classroom revitalization efforts. Jennifer's expertise extends to mathematics and play-based learning, and her initiatives, such as virtual partnerships with IB schools worldwide, enrich the learning experiences for students. Her tireless efforts have fostered a culture of growth and empowerment on the campus, inspiring academic, social and emotional development among students and staff alike.

CAWS 2024 Training Award Winner

Maria Velasco, a dedicated language and literature teacher at Pacific Beach Middle School in San Diego, is not only a leader on campus but also a driving force behind their vibrant school culture. Through her language and literature classes, active participation in the school site council, and leadership of the "Fun and Neurodivergent" club she supports and inspires students and colleagues. As the lead teacher for community projects and a champion for parent involvement, she exemplifies a commitment to fostering strong connections within our school community. Maria's effectiveness as an IB educator is evident in her proactive approach to leadership and her continuous pursuit of personal and professional growth. Her invaluable feedback and collaborative spirit have played a crucial role in the students' successful completion of the IB Community Project, reflecting her deep understanding and embrace of the IB philosophy. 

CAWS 2024 Exemplary Teacher Awards


Tekoa Chilcote, a dedicated educator at the Vista Academy of Visual and Performing Arts, Vista, embodies the essence of transformative teaching. With a commitment to incorporating diverse perspectives, she fosters global awareness and cultural understanding in her classroom. Ms.Chilcote is known for her remarkable arts integration skills, crafting dynamic learning experiences that captivate and inspire. Her innate ability to unleash the potential of students, staff, and community members alike is truly remarkable. By seamlessly blending educational concepts with tangible experiences, she forges a strong homeschool connection and actively involves the wider community in enriching student learning. Ms. Chilcote provides countless opportunities for action-oriented activities, empowering her students to become proactive agents of change.

MYP Award Winner 

Kelsey Courneya demonstrates exceptional leadership as Head of the Physical and Health Department and the Leadership Team at Roosevelt International Middle School in San Diego. Under her guidance, the department has become a pioneer in fully implementing IB assessments using MYP criteria, offering students a unique educational experience. Through innovative approaches like frisbee golf, tumbling routines, and multicultural dance design, the Physical Education Department aligns 24 units with state standards and IB objectives, emphasizing the importance of building relationships and understanding health alongside sports education. Ms. Courneya's commitment to fostering lifelong learning equips students with transferable skills for personal growth and success.

DP Award Winner

Jaime Huert is from Monte Vista Christian School, Watsonville, has consistently demonstrated unwavering dedication and exemplary leadership within his school community, particularly within the Spanish department. His pivotal role in spearheading the school's first cohort of diploma candidates during the 2022-23 academic year is a testament to his profound impact. Despite initial apprehensions among Spanish language learners, Mr. Huerta's steadfast presence, persistence, and high standards for verbal and written assessments, aligned with IB standards, proved instrumental in achieving remarkable outcomes. Thanks to his diligence and leadership, the school celebrated an inaugural IB graduating cohort with 38 diploma candidates, all achieving outstanding scores of four or higher. Mr. Huerta's tireless efforts have not only elevated the Spanish language program but have also transformed it into a cornerstone of IB academic excellence. 

CAWS 2023/2024 Student of the Year

The CAWS membership deadline for eligibility to select a CAWS 2023/2024 Student of the Year, SOTY, is only a few days awayYou can confirm the status of your programme on our current CAWS 2023/2024 Member Schools list. Membership is open throughout the year, however only schools with payments received by our deadline may select a SOTY for 2023/2024.

Complete your CAWS Membership now in order to meet our April 2, 2024 payment deadline. If you have submitted your annual payment and do not see your schools name on our CAWS 2023/2024 Member Schools list, please check with your district to ensure that payment was sent to Tom Krucli, CAWS Financial Director.

Our 2023/2024 Student of the Year Application final deadline is April 8, 2024. Students selected for this honor will receive a check for $250.00.

Best regards,

Laurel Ferreiri

CAWS Scholarship Chairperson

The California Association of IB World Schools | Robin Oliver, Executive Director CAWS,

Visit our website