Winners of the VC Innovates 2018 Pathfinder Awards Announced

Today in Camarillo, VC Innovates 2018 Pathfinder Awards were presented to this year’s most innovative educators, business and community partners for their support of Career and Technical Education. Twenty-five award recipients selected by each of the education partner school districts as well as thirteen business and community partners were recognized at a luncheon at the Spanish Hills Country Club. All of the honorees have played a pivotal role in bringing career and technical education opportunities to the students of Ventura County.

A list of the winners is below and more information about each of the honorees is available here


  • Ventura County Community College: District Larry Maher
  • Moorpark College: Tim Samoff
  • Oxnard College: Dr. Cynthia Azari
  • Ventura College: Michael Clark


  • Career Education Center: Amanda Graves
  • Conejo Valley Unified School District: Lisa Ravitch
  • Fillmore Unified School District: Jeremiah MacMahon
  • Moorpark Unified School District: Nick Moller
  • Oak Park Unified School District: Ken Jones
  • Oxnard Union High School District: Peter Wachtel
  • Ojai Unified School District: Greg Lepine
  • Santa Paula Unified School District: Sofia Ajiri
  • Simi Valley Unified School District: Bruce Nebens
  • Ventura Unified School District: Jared McEntyre


  • Briggs School District: Kathy Simpson
  • Conejo Valley Unified School District: Jason Klinger
  • Fillmore Unified School District: Laurie Merrill
  • Hueneme Elementary School District: Michele Laubacher
  • Moorpark Unified School District: Kevin Lorch
  • Oak Park Unified School District: Malia Cadle
  • Oxnard Elementary School District: Kori Lauchland
  • Rio School District: Gena Mathwin
  • Santa Paula Unified School District: Jan-Erik Sand
  • Simi Valley Unified School District: Kristy Roy
  • Ventura Unified School District: Jennifer Holland


  • Agriculture and Natural Resources: George Hatfield, Hatfield Orchids
  • Arts, Media, and Entertainment: Christopher Gordon, ABC7 News
  • Architecture: Tyson Cline, RNT Architects
  • Building and Construction: Dennis Kuykendall, Balfour Beatty
  • Business and Finance/Marketing, Sales and Service: Adam Casillas, Latino Business Expo and American Latino Magazine
  • Energy, Environment and Utilities: Olivia Cancino, City of Oxnard, Advanced Water Purification Facility
  • Engineering: Jeffrey McKenzie, McKenzie Systems Engineering Associates
  • Health Science and Medical Technologies: Ventura County Health Care Agency
  • Hospitality: Kat Merrick, Totally Local VC
  • Information and Communication Technology: Marcus Bernales, Procore
  • Manufacturing: Grant Samson, TMJ Concepts
  • Public Service: Rosa Lopez, Ventura County Probation Agency
  • Transportation: Gerardo “J.R.” Luna, Concourse Motors


About VC Innovates

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. For more information, please visit

About the Ventura County Office of Education

The Ventura County Office of Education provides a broad array of fiscal, training and technology support services to local school districts, helping to maintain and improve lifelong educational opportunities for children, educators and community members. VCOE also operates schools that serve students with severe disabilities and behavioral issues, provides career education courses, and coordinates countywide academic competitions including Mock Trial and the Ventura County Science Fair. Learn more at:

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