Cate Head of School Ben Williams
By Sigrid Toye   |   April 15, 2021

What more can I possibly say about the nationally and internationally lauded Cate School located in the hills above Carpinteria overlooking the ocean? So much has already been written about this excellent 9th through 12th grade co-educational college preparatory school that offers a rigorous academic yet broad-based curriculum and an all-embracing student life. Cate’s diverse […]

Joel Reed, Head of School, Howard School
By Sigrid Toye   |   December 3, 2020

I have been writing this column for years and I wonder how I could have missed a visit to the Howard School, the oldest operating private school in Santa Barbara. Once located on San Ysidro Road in Montecito, the 1934 designed campus, now the Laguna Blanca Lower School, is a community landmark. On a crisp […]

Lynne Olerich, Montecito Union Reading Intervention Program Specialist
By Sigrid Toye   |   October 13, 2020

On a pleasantly balmy Tuesday afternoon, somewhere between the way too cold or searing desert heat of our current weather, I had the opportunity to spend some socially distant, in-person, fully masked time with Montecito Union School’s reading specialist, Lynne Olerich. Our conversation included her tenure at Montecito Union, her journey from Rutherford, New Jersey […]

Amy Alzina, Superintendent and Principal, Cold Spring School
By Sigrid Toye   |   August 20, 2020

As my fingers tap the keyboard I’m reminded of an observation about coping in the world of the new normal: “Somehow it feels like we’re building the airplane while it’s in the air.” How true that is, not only now but possibly for the foreseeable future. Santa Barbara’s Fiesta parade, as an example, reimagined and […]

All Saints’ Padric Davis
By Sigrid Toye   |   April 2, 2020

Entering the campus of All Saints-by-the-Sea Parish School was actually a homecoming of sorts for a variety of reasons, the most recent being that our granddaughter, now 10 and a big fifth grader, attended the Parish School as a toddler. Not that long ago she could be seen hopping around the playground laughing, playing, and […]

Amy Alzina: Cold Spring School
By Sigrid Toye   |   February 13, 2020

Containing myself from shameless bragging about the outstanding schools in our community is something that is extremely difficult to do! I’ve had the good fortune to visit quite a few of them over the last few years – from preschool to high school – and there’s never been a moment where I haven’t been impressed, […]

Christina Broderick: Head of School, Marymount
By Sigrid Toye   |   November 26, 2019

On a beautiful fall day, after the lazy days of summer had passed and schools were back in session, I made my way to the Marymount campus situated above the city. The winding roads of Santa Barbara’s Riviera community, the views of the ocean and the Channel Islands in the far distance, was a precursor […]

El Montecito Early School’s Director
By Sigrid Toye   |   May 16, 2019

On a beautiful sunny Saturday, Suzy Dobreski and I met on the deck of the Santa Barbara Yacht Club. It was one of those “see-forever” days, and as she was kind enough to spend a few hours of her weekend with me, we decided a location with an ocean view might be the ideal place. […]

Joel Weiss: Head of School
By Sigrid Toye   |   February 28, 2019

On a recent sunny day, I stopped by Crane Country Day School for a visit. It was one of those special days when the entire school was out on the quad being served a potpourri of luncheon delights. Food stands, tended by kids and parent-volunteers, burgeoned with a huge variety of offerings: everything from salads, […]

In Praise of Pam Herzog and the MUS Chorus
By Sigrid Toye   |   December 20, 2018

The 2018 holiday season is finally upon us and preparations are now being made for the arrival of Santa Claus and the gifts of love and laughter he leaves behind. If Santa has his magic iPhone plugged in at the North Pole, what very special transmission might he be hearing from Santa Barbara? If you […]

Wendy Foster
By Sigrid Toye   |   December 20, 2018

Outside Wendy Foster‘s signature store in Montecito’s upper village, the tables were completely occupied, but I was lucky enough to find a spot under a tree dressed in the colors of the fall season. From my perch, I could appreciate the park’s green lawn, the tables nearby under which a few furry friends had made […]

MUS Foundation Kick-Off Dinner
By Sigrid Toye   |   November 15, 2018

An open garden gate and lively chatter from inside the house greeted me as I made my way across the lawn to the Montecito home of Cate and Matt Stoll. Hostess Cate welcomed me and we entered the garden, where overhead lanterns glittered and tables surrounded the pool for the evening’s 160 dinner guests. A […]

The Mentor of Mt. Carmel
By Sigrid Toye   |   October 18, 2018

Fall is in the air! Summer’s over and “Back to School” shopping days are gone. Books and school supplies have made their way into the classroom, and the 2018-19 school year is well underway. I’m ready to begin the new school year too, visiting some of the talented teachers and administrators in Montecito and Santa […]

Dr. Surber of Laguna Blanca Lower School
By Sigrid Toye   |   May 31, 2018

As I entered the parking area on the Laguna Blanca Lower School campus, everything looked as I remembered it at the end of the 2016-17 school year. Children were happily playing, staff were all present and accounted for, spring flowers could be seen placed artistically in the carefully pruned landscaping that surrounds the perimeter of […]

Kindergarten Bird House Project
By Sigrid Toye   |   April 26, 2018

It seems spring is in the air. Hopefully, this is a sign that this year’s unpredictable, chaotic winter will have waved goodbye to us forever. The hard work continues unabated, and slowly Montecito is finding its footing once again – and our community’s schools are no exception. I recently drove to Cold Spring School to […]

A Tale of Two Schools
By Sigrid Toye   |   March 8, 2018

The last couple of months have been, well, to put it mildly, a massive challenge. As a result of the Thomas Fire, some of us have been impacted by loss, many others by smoke inhalation or voluntary and mandatory evacuations, along with ensuing respiratory issues. Then, within a few days, tragedy struck again with the […]