Classified employees perform roles essential to student learning, safety and success – OCDE Newsroom

Classified employees perform roles essential to student learning, safety and success – OCDE Newsroom


Even if you’re unfamiliar with the term “classified” school employees, you’re sure to know their contributions.

These are dedicated workers who keep our campuses clean, answer office phone calls, and provide healthy meals to students. They are the ones who support educational technology, transport students to school, and provide critical support in the classroom.

Al Mijares on his desk

The term “classified” applies to virtually all non-certified staff members working in our schools and district centers. These include instructional assistants, custodians, office workers, technicians, bus drivers, computer professionals, accountants, and so many others who quietly lay the groundwork for quality teaching and learning. And at no time has his work been more important, nor valued, than during a global pandemic.

While each of these professionals deserves our gratitude, the Orange County Department of Education recently highlighted nine school employees by job category who have been further distinguished by commitment, compassion, and creativity. and character.

Orange County 2022 Classified Employees of the Year are:

  • Sonia ArreguinAdministration Technician, OECD Division of Alternative Education (Administrative and Administrative Services)
  • Jason MunierDay Custodian, La Habra City School District (Custody and Maintenance Services)
  • Lorena SimersonNutrition Services Assistant, Santa Ana Unified School District (Food and Nutrition Services)
  • Sheri SaladowGuidance Technician, Capistrano Unified School District (Health and Student Service)
  • Evan JacobsBehavioral Interventionist / Paraprofessional, Tustin Unified School District (Paraprofessional)
  • Erik EstradaCampus Supervisor, Huntington Beach Union High School District (Security Services)
  • Luis CamarenaSkilled Maintenance Worker, Ocean View School District (skilled trades)
  • Armant Gomezdatabase specialist, Los Alamitos Unified School District (technical services)
  • Shannon Lauricellaschool bus driver, Garden Grove Unified School District (transportation services)

This year’s winners were selected from a group of 86 award winners at the district level based on their work performance, leadership, dedication and involvement with their schools and communities. And there’s even more good news to share: four of them were recently announced as state-classified school year employees.

Estrada, Gomez, Lauricella, and Saladow were among the nine school employees who won the honor for all of California. Think about it for a moment. California is made up of 58 counties and Orange County staff members accounted for 44 percent of this year’s winners, and seven of the last 18 honorees over a two-year period. This demonstrates the undeniable talent and dedication that our classified employees really are.

Lauricella may not end up receiving praise. She has also been nominated to compete in the national Recognizing Inspiring School Employees (RISE) awards program, which will announce the winner next year.

Meanwhile, the Orange County Classified School’s Nine Employees of the Year will be formally held during Classified School Employees’ Week, which begins on May 15th. The four statewide winners will be honored again in Sacramento on May 19th.

But we do not expect to congratulate those who go further every day.

On behalf of the OECD and our county’s educational community, I would like to congratulate these school superheroes and express my gratitude to the thousands of other classified employees who perform essential functions for the health, safety, and academic success of our students. .



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