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Classified Staff (CSEA & Teamsters)

Congratulations: 2017 Classified Employees of the Year


May 23, 2017
Good Morning Team CUSD,


Last night we enjoyed a great 2017 Classified Employee of the Year celebration. I have included remarks from last night that were shared by Vice President Gila Jones and Superintendent Vital. All Classified employees who were nominated were called up on stage and the winner from each category was introduced. Please join me in congratulating all of our nominees…and our winners:


Office and Technical:                                                 Michael Mortensen, Technology & Information Services

Para-Educator and Instructional Assistance:             Dorcas Scinico, George White Elementary

Child Nutrition:                                                          Colleen Morreale, Castille Elementary

Maintenance and Operations:                                     Efren Florentino, Serra High School

Transportation:                                                            Rafael Murillo, School Bus Driver

Support Services and Security:                                   Rhonda Walsh, Aliso Niguel High School


Remarks from Vice President Gila Jones:


Thank you all for being here this evening to celebrate our classified employees. As the highest achieving large school district in California, the brightest light often shines on our teachers.


Our teachers may be the spaghetti, but you are the sauce. They're the lumber, but you're the nails. Or to use another food metaphor, we could say they're the forks but you're the knives -- and they can't cut it without you!


Our teachers do incredible work, but they can't do it alone. It takes many people to provide our students with academic and emotional success -- including those of you here tonight.


Classified workers are the custodians keeping our classrooms and campuses clean and safe and ready for learning. Here tonight I see so many of the wonderful custodians I know. 


Food service workers serve nutritious breakfasts and lunches so our students can focus on learning, and not on their empty stomachs. Recently the trustee and staff meals that are served before each board meeting began being provided by our own CUSD food service staff. So we trustees know how good the District's food service meals have become!


Because I live right off Ortega Highway, I see many of our transportation staff at work almost every day. And I've got my Bus Driver Appreciation t-shirt right here! 


Those of you in so many other jobs -- you apply band-aids, fix our roofs, keep phones and email and internet running, and do all those other tasks that you might think go unnoticed. But they don't. In general you keep our kids safe and you support them individually, regardless of what level or grade. And we do notice, and we know. 


You're the greeters, the gatekeepers, and the ambassadors of our students and families. You support our mission to prepare every one of our students to meet the challenges of this rapidly changing world. I know all of us here tonight are honored to celebrate each of you, because you're our colleagues and friends in this work.


The CUSD staff members being honored tonight as Classified Employees of the Year were evaluated on their work performance, school and community involvement, leadership and commitment, and their willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty -- which I think is practically the exact job description of any classified employee. To each of our nominees I say thank you, and congratulations on a job well done.


Remarks from Superintendent Kirsten Vital:


Thank you all for being here this evening.


This is such an exciting time of year! Just 7 more school days and we begin summer break (but who’s counting?). I know many of you work a 12-month schedule, so you won’t necessarily have the whole summer off. The last day of school is June 1 and many of you will be back at work on June 2nd planning for the next school year!


I do hope all of you get to take a real break and vacation over the summer, though!


This is an exciting time of year because on June 1, we will celebrate the graduation of nearly 4,000 high school seniors at commencement ceremonies throughout the District. Our graduates are going to UCLA and Harvard and UCI and Stanford and colleges and universities throughout the world. Some are going into the military, some will begin careers and some of our students will be set for success in independent living.


None of this work could be celebrated if it were not for our Classified staff. The work you do in support of our District for 50,000 young people is truly incredible and it is an honor for all of us to be here tonight to say thank you, thank you, thank you for your commitment and support and dedication of our work for students. Your work shines not only in the day-to-day, but in the plans and promises and opportunities our students have as they leave our high schools with a diploma and a plan for the journey after graduation.


I hope you all enjoy this celebration and take a moment to reflect on your role and the impact it makes in our community. Thank you!

Past Classified Employees of the Year

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