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2014 Classified Employees of the Year
CSEA members recognized in state honors 

5/9/2014

Four CSEA members were named as California's 2014 Classified School Employees of the Year in recognition of their exceptional efforts toward K-12 school operations and student success.

"These highly skilled and talented workers make the extra effort to support their students, schools, and communities," said California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.

The annual program recognizes outstanding classified school employees, each representing one of the following categories: Child Nutrition; Maintenance, Operations, and Facilities; Office and Technical Support; Para-Educator and Instructional Assistance; Support Services and Security; and Transportation.

Office and Technical Support
Diana Vita,
Account Clerk II
Carmel High School, Carmel Unified School District, CSEA Chapter 190, Carmel

Ms. Vita is an exemplary employee and more importantly an outstanding person. She sees no boundaries of time or defined job parameters when she comes to work. She is the school's financial secretary and that entails managing money, fundraisers, clubs, minutes, rosters, the student store—the list goes on. What she sees are responsibilities and needs—for students, parents, faculty and staff, and the community. When she sees a need you can be sure she will be either leading the charge to address it, or will be working tirelessly to meet it as part of a team. At no time will you find her to be less than professional and she consistently brightens the day of others with her cheerful attitude and willing spirit.

Para-Educator and Instructional Assistance
Lisa Nowels, Instructional Assistant
Sun View Elementary School, Ocean View School District, CSEA Chapter 375, Ocean View

Ms. Nowels serves as an Instructional Assistant for English learner students and brings to that job a wealth of experience that allows her to suggest changes to improve district procedures and practices on implementing state and federal English learner regulations. She often participates on district-level committees and is a valuable resource for her colleagues. She helps administer the California English Language Development Test, works on English learner related paperwork, and attends English learner staff meetings. She is a team player who is focused on helping meet the needs of English learners district-wide. Described as professional, efficient, helpful, reliable, and dedicated, Ms. Nowels' work performance is summed up in one word: outstanding.

Support Services and Security
Treavor Maddux, Campus Monitor
Oak View High School and Education Center, Yucaipa-Calimesa Joint Unified School District, CSEA Chapter 209, Yucaipa-Calimesa

Mr. Maddux is the campus monitor at a community day school where students are considered at-risk because they were expelled or frequently absent from a traditional high school or are substantially behind in credits to graduate. Next door is an education center for emotionally disturbed students. He has the ability to deal with the most challenging students on the high school site and also to interact with a distressed elementary student at the center. He consistently demonstrates that time spent building relationships and by being firm, fair, and consistent shows students that authority figures can be trusted. These relationships have kept many potential issues at a minimum. He is a role model for staff and respected for his high-moral conduct and common sense in difficult situations.

Transportation
Henry Bell, School Bus Driver
Transportation Department, Roseville Joint Union High School District, CSEA Chapter 459, Roseville Union High

Mr. Bell is an amazing person to work with and is a true leader in his field. He is respected not only for his ability to maintain a safe and effective bus, but also for how he communicates and builds relationships with students and staff. He works effectively and patiently to resolve issues with students and parents and demonstrates a climate of trust and teamwork. He often gives discouraged students a positive pep-talk about responsibility and making good choices. This has helped students know what is expected of them, and also shows how much Mr. Bell cares about them. He is an outstanding role model for students and a positive representative for the district.

Recognition luncheon for honorees
The four CSEA members will join Sharon Cliffman of Millville Elementary School District, who won the Child Nutrition category; and Marcus Board of Oakland Unified School District, who won the Maintenance, Operations, and Facilities category as they are honored by Superintendent Torlakson and the Department of Education at a luncheon on May 22 in Sacramento.

"I offer my congratulations to six hard-working and devoted school employees who exemplify what commitment to school and student really is," Torlakson said in a statement announcing the winners. 

Related Resources:
California Classified School Employee of the Year Award
CSEA Member of the Year Award