The Bee's Knees Teacher Awards

$250 Donation From Every Sale For Our Teachers

Celebrating Scotts Valley Teachers Who Exhibit “The Height of Excellence” in Teaching

Nominate a Teacher Today Who You Believe is Deserving of The “Bee’s Knees” Designation and $250 for their Classroom!


Scotts Valley CommunitySponsored by Community Real Estate, The “Bee’s Knees” teacher award program recognizes outstanding Scotts Valley teachers.  The saying “The Bee’s Knees” became popular in the United States during the 1920s.  Bees carry pollen back to the hive in sacs on their legs.  It is believed that the origin of the phrase refers to the concentrated goodness that can be found around a bee’s knee.  As we use it today, the phrase “The Bee’s Knees” means “The Height of Excellence”.

We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to the amazing teachers that make Scotts Valley schools the best in the County.  These teachers work tirelessly and often go without the recognition they deserve.  Their efforts improve not just the lives of their students, but of all us.

Please join us in showing our appreciation for these special teachers.  Write to us ( to nominate a teacher that has made a difference in your life, or the life of your children.  Each time a teacher is nominated they will be entered into a drawing to win a donation for their classroom.  At the completion of every sale, Community Real Estate will select one of these teachers at random.  The lucky winner will receive $250 from us and the designation as “The Bee’s Knees” in teaching.  We look forward to hearing from you!

Brook Knoll Elementary

May 2018 – Katie Bagley, Kindergarten

I just recently discovered my old job files. First job, “field laborer” at UC Davis. Five years later, living far from agricultural fields, I realized I wanted to be a teacher and entered the graduate program at UCLA.  It truly was a California dream! From tending to crops to tending to children, my dream job happened when I got to teach part time in an amazing Kindergarten class at Brook Knoll Elementary. Teaching in a school that my two children attended was a blessing and motivated me to do my best to make Scotts Valley schools the best they could be. As a teacher and parent, I volunteer regularly to help fund programs for all schools in the district. In addition to my 22 years at Brook Knoll, I am equally proud of my affiliation with the Scotts Valley Educational Foundation and their mission to raise money for our schools. Thank you Community Real Estate for this recognition!

Click here for past Brook Knoll Award recipients.


Vine Hill Elementary

February 2018 – Katie Foster-Blue, 3rd Grade

Katie Blue got her start at UCSC 20 years ago with a Masters Degree in  Education and a BA in Psychology. She went on to begin her teaching career in Watsonville where she found a wonderful community and her passion in teaching 4th and 5th graders. She especially loved teaching science and math as a way to connect and engage English Language Learners. Katie took some time off to rasie her young kids, working part time as an elementary science teacher, ELL coordinator and  ELL support teacher.

Katie was fortunate three years ago to join the Vine Hill community as a third grade teacher. She loves working with her colleagues, and is finding joy in empowering children  with Mindfulness and Growth Mindset strategies so that they can find passion in learning too!

Twenty years later, she has two kids of her own and lives in the San Lorenzo Valley where she plays soccer, gardens, and hikes and camps with her two kids and dog.

Click here for past Vine Hill Elementary Awards.

Scotts Valley Middle School

 May, 2018 – Arnie Sterigstad, Math

Arnie Serigstad’s journey to being a middle school math teacher began after graduating with a degree in communications studies from Biola University. He originally entered the workforce by working with foster youth and families in a variety of ways including group homes and “Wrap” Services for the county of Orange and some Non-Profits. However, having grown up in Gilroy while frequently coming over the hill to Santa Cruz, it has always been his hope and intention to return to the Monterey Bay. So, as fate would have it, while Arnie originally set out on a path to become a social worker or family counselor, he eventually decided that his desire to serve and work with families needed to take the form of a different career. Coming from a family of educators, changing his trajectory toward teaching seemed to be his inescapable destiny.

Arnie joined the Math teaching team at Scotts Valley Middle School in 2013 teaching 6th grade. Growing up, math classes were never his favorite in school, and were primarily a source of frustration through high school. So, one of Arnie’s goals as an educator became to help students realize the potential of the subject of math and to form it into a positive, stimulating, and enriching experience. He believes that Math can be more than just memorizing abstract logical procedures, but rather can positively shape the way students encounter challenges, themselves, and the world. Arnie strives to inspire a “growth mindset” in his students in how they view themselves and their own potential. Success is not determined by whether or not students happen to be a “math-person”, but rather that they can build their own abilities as they apply themselves. It is his philosophy that Math can be a platform for flourishing creativity and provides endless challenges through which students can push their own limits through collaborative problem solving and interactive experiences with the concepts.
In his spare time he enjoys being near the ocean, enjoying great coffee, discovering new places with his wife Natalie, playing with his daughter Mabel, biking through the mountains, and playing card and board games with friends.


Click here for past SVMS Award recipients.

Scotts Valley High School

 April, 2018 – Mark Andrews, Biology & Environmental Science

Most recently, Mark Andrews has been teaching Environmental Science and Biology classes at Scotts Valley High School for these past 6 years.  In developing a new curriculum for Environmental Science at SVHS over the past 3 years, Mr. Andrews has embraced the new NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards) by creating an “outdoor classroom for his students by building a sustainable organic garden and landscaping plan for the entire SVHS campus to be implemented by over 150 students for each of the next three years.

Prior to teaching, Mr. Andrews spent 20 years as a sales and marketing executive working in different areas of the pharmaceutical industry.  Most notably, working on a team with Proctor and Gamble to brand and launch ALEVE.  In between careers, Mr. Andrews spent 6 years as a stay at home parent with his daughters Jianna and Joelle, which he would say was the most important job of his career.

Click here for past SVHS Award recipients