SAN JOSE, CA – Each year the Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) is responsible for sending up to six nominees to the California Department of Education (CDE) for their annual Classified School Employee of the Year recognition program.
The Classified School Employee of the Year Program highlights the contributions of classified school employees who support the education of California's public school students in preschool through grade 12.
The Santa Clara County winners include:
Concepcion Herrera of Alum Rock Union Elementary School District
Concepcion has worked for the district for more than 12 years. She demonstrates a high standard of work ethic for both herself and her coworkers at her school site.
"Connie is always willing to stop what she is doing to serve students who arrive to school late and hungry, and does so with a smile," says Anacelia Rocha, principal of Meyer Elementary School.
Maintenance, Operations, and Facilities:
Samnang Leang of Campbell Union School District
Samnang has worked for his district for 27 years; he is a dedicated and respected team player at Sherman Oaks School.
"He truly lives out our community values of respect, making good choices, and solving problems. Sam is the man, and we are so lucky to have him as an integral part of our school community," says Raul Lomeli, principal of Sherman Oaks Elementary.
Office and Technical:
Maria Lovdahl of Alum Rock Union Elementary School District
After 14 years, Maria continues to impress her colleagues with her commitment and devotion to Cureton Elementary.
According to Le Tran, Principal of Cureton Elementary School, "Maria is the most hardworking employee I have ever met. She is always on time and actively working. Everyone can depend on Maria when they need assistance with anything."
Paraeducator and Instructional Assistance:
Michele Guraydin of Campbell Union School District
Michelle has worked for the district for 17 years; she is a founding member of the Village School Community who works tirelessly to support classrooms, teachers, and families.
"Just doing a great job isn't enough for Michele. She models the Village Values and establishes a shining example for all to follow; parents, staff and students alike. She is a Campbell Union School District asset and a vital member of the Village Learning Community," says David Wilce, principal of Village Elementary School.
Services and Security:
Lisa Griffin of Alum Rock Union Elementary School District
For the past five years, the staff at Ryan Elementary found Lisa to be an extremely dedicated individual who approaches every aspect of her job with enthusiasm.
"Lisa is a compassionate professional with a genuine love of helping and assisting others. When students are hurt, ill, or distressed, she is able to help them feel less nervous by remaining calm and using positive incentives," says Raquel Katz, principal of Ryan Elementary School.
The five nominees were selected by Roxanne Barnett, an internal organizer from SEIU Local 521, Dana Bunnett, director of Kids in Common, and Kay Dasu from the SCCOE Department of Media & Communications.
The Santa Clara County Board of Education will recognize the county honorees during Classified School Employee Week at the May 17 board meeting. They will go on to compete against other school districts at the statewide level. Awardees will be announced by the CDE this month, and honored at an event in Sacramento in May.
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