Honoring Our Educators

Last night, the LAX Coastal community went to the movies at the Teacher Eddy Awards. Presented by the LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce at the Hilton Los Angeles Airport Hotel on May 11, this year’s event attracted more than 300 educators, administrators, business leaders, and community members for an evening of celebration and recognition. Guests felt the spotlight in a movie premier worthy photo booth, dined at tables covered in popcorn flower centerpieces and movie theater candy, and honored 20 Outstanding Teachers of the Year from our local schools.

The LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce recognizes the importance of education for a successful community. Our region is made stronger by inspiring the leaders of the future, and it is during the Teacher Eddy Awards where we express our thanks to the men and women who spend each day teaching in our local schools. Each outstanding teacher is presented with a crystal Eddy award, inscribed with the words “For Excellence in Education” and a star representing that, to the LAX Coastal Chamber, our teachers are some of our community’s biggest stars. Once again, we would like to say thank you to the below honorees. You are incredibly deserving of this award.

This year’s Teacher Eddy Awards honorees!
  • Kelvin Keaotamai | Carousel School
  • Sarah Ponton | Cowan Avenue Elementary School
  • Natascha Calnon | Goethe International Charter School
  • Ann Baran | Kentwood Elementary School
  • Christopher Key Chapple | Loyola Marymount University
  • Jennifer Azafrani | Loyola Village Elementary and Fine and Performing Arts Magnet Center
  • T. Steiny | Otis College of Art and Design
  • Elizabeth Jimenez | Paseo del Rey Natural Science Magnet School
  • Donia Horton | Playa Vista Elementary
  • Jennifer Stamatio | St. Anastasia School
  • Abraham Alvarez | St. Bernard High School
  • Vilma Ayala | St. Jerome School
  • Hazel Kight Witham | Venice High School
  • Erin Neville Solari | Visitation School
  • Lorena Gomez | Westchester Lutheran Church & School
  • Christopher Tsichlis | Westchester Secondary Charter School
  • Renette McLellan | Westport Heights Elementary School
  • Peder Draxton | WISH Charter Elementary School
  • Sandra Prieto | WISH Charter Middle School
  • Erin Maroufkhani | Wright Middle School STEAM Magnet


At this event, the chamber also recognizes local professionals that have given their time, talent, and treasure to elevate our education system. This year, we presented the “Friend of Education Award” to Holly Clark, classroom mom and volunteer for Open Magnet Charter School, and Ryan Gales, of Jenkins/Gales & Martinez, along with a special “Lifetime Achievement in Education Award” to Janet Landon, of Westchester Secondary Charter School. This is only the sixth time that the Lifetime Achievement award has been bestowed since this event’s inauguration in 1983.

The LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce is a proud supporter of education, and would like to recognize the sponsors who helped to make our 2017 Teacher Eddy Awards a success: 4-Star Sponsors, Drollinger Family Charitable Foundation, HomeTown News, William H. Hannon Foundation; 3-Star Sponsors, Los Angeles World Airports, Playa Venice Sunrise Rotary; 2-Star Sponsors, Loyola Marymount University, Sarlo Income Tax, Westchester Lutheran Church & School; 1-Star Sponsor, Goethe International Charter School; Principal and Teacher Sponsors, Brookfield Playa Vista, Dickerson Employee Benefits.

View our Teacher Eddy Awards ’17 Photo Gallery.

Photo credit: Angela Clouse

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