The Ventura County Educators’ Hall of Fame is pleased to announce the inductees for its Class of 2014-15. The six members of the Class of 2014-15 are as follows:
Dr. Bruce Colell
Former choir, band, and orchestra teacher at Adolfo Camarillo High School. Dr. Bruce Colell has directed music students throughout his career around Ventura County and around the world since 1962. His students have received world-wide acclaim through his efforts to provide music to audiences from China, Australia, Italy and many other venues. His group “California Swing Kids” received high marks in many competitions and were able to perform for many service organizations. For many years parents and students have thanked and commended Dr. Colell for his continuous efforts to foster music education and performances in Camarillo and Ventura County, mostly especially his “Concerts under the Stars.” He has received honors from the Adolfo Camarillo High School and Channel Islands High School faculties, the City of Camarillo, and the State of California. Dr. Colell served as a conductor and music director for various parishes and has prepared liturgical compositions.
Former assistant superintendent and principal for the Moorpark Unified School District. Anna Merriman began her career in education teaching at Fountain Valley High School before moving to the Conejo Valley Unified School District to teach, be a counselor and administrator, then becoming an administrator for the Simi Valley Unified School District and the Moorpark Unified School District. She continues in the field of education as an educational consultant for the Ventura County Office of Education to support schools and districts to improve education county-wide. She is known for her ability to create a positive atmosphere for learning by improving communication between all staff members, students, and parents. She authentically cares for the well-being of all of those around her. She is noted as being “one of a kind” for her expertise and commitment to education in Ventura County.
Former teacher for the Pleasant Valley School District. Patricia Craig was a dedicated teacher for the Pleasant Valley School district from 1973 – 2003. She promoted the talents of her students in her theatre arts and speech classes and through her guidance, many rose to receive awards for their speaking talents. She was able to travel to Europe and Australia with her students to learn with them about world cultures. In addition, she is a docent for the Camarillo Ranch House. She is a determined supporter of the Camarillo Academic Olympics, especially the Speech Subject competition. She continues in her effort for Pleasant Valley School District by being a member of the Pleasant Valley Educational Foundation and volunteering to help at speech tournaments and community events.
Former principal for the Simi Valley Unified School District and Board of Trustees member. Jeanne Davis has been a teacher, administrator, and a Board of Trustees member for the Simi Valley Unified School District. She is a compassionate educator who serves students, parents, and staff members with equal dedication. She has been called an “unsung hero” for her efforts to improve schools by supporting the passing of bond measures to update classrooms and technology throughout the district. Her interpersonal skills and knowledge of educational systems allow her to balance the needs of all stakeholders. As a general education and special education teacher, she has inspired many of her students to become confident learners. In her desire to develop new educators, she mentors teacher candidates through California Lutheran University.
Former teacher and assistant principal at La Reina High School. Cecilia Coe began her career teaching at Saint Patrick Day School in 1975, moved on to teach at Colina Middle School in the Conejo Valley Unified School District, but spent most of her career at La Reina High School in Thousand Oaks. She began there as an English and History teacher but rose to become the first lay principal and held that position from 2003 – 2010. She is remembered at La Reina as an outstanding teacher because of her dedication to teaching skills and fostering innovation to support students, parents, and staff members. She facilitated curriculum development to include Honors and Advanced Placement classes. Cecilia Coe’s efforts as a dedicated educator and administrator led to La Reina High School receiving the prestigious National Blue Ribbon Award in 2013. In retirement, she continues to serve her community as a member of the Ventura County Grand Jury and as a member of Rise Above, a singing group.
Former teacher for the Pleasant Valley School District. Raelene Manzer successfully accomplished many years as a kindergarten teacher for the Rio District and the Pleasant Valley School District. She nurtured her students to be successful throughout their elementary and secondary years and to become life-long learners. She is known as being creative, empathetic, generous and dedicated. She was a role model for all teachers but especially kindergarten teachers as many followed her leadership to excel in the profession of education. She has served on the Camarillo Arts Council and the Pleasant Valley Historical Society. Through her quiet, gentle way, she opened the door for many students, parents, and colleagues to grow as individuals and successful human beings.