State Superintendent Tom Torlakson Announces 2017 Classified School Employees of the Year

 State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Announces 2017 Classified School Employees of the Year 

Release: #17-30
April 24, 2017

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today honored six outstanding classified school employees for their dedication to California’s public school students.

“I started my public service career as a high school teacher and coach, and I know first-hand the vital role that classified employees have every day in our public schools,” Torlakson said. “These terrific employees keep schools clean and safe; they make sure our students get to school and can eat healthy meals; and they contribute to an overall positive school culture that cares for the whole child. I applaud the fantastic work these employees do every day.”

The annual program honors six outstanding classified school employees from the following categories: Child Nutrition; Maintenance, Operations, and Facilities; Office and Technical Support; Para-Educator and Instructional Assistance; Support Services and Security; and Transportation. This year’s recipients were chosen from more than 100 nominations statewide.

The 2017 Classified School Employees of the Year, who will be honored by Torlakson at a May 25 luncheon in Sacramento, are: (Information contained in the following biographical sketches was excerpted from their nomination forms.)

Child Nutrition: Karen Allison, Cafeteria Manager, Adams Elementary School, Newport-Mesa Unified School District, Costa Mesa, Orange County. (11 years in current position).

Ms. Allison is widely known as a wonderful employee with a natural talent in the kitchen and a caring approach to all of her students. She goes out of her way to make sure healthy meals look and taste good, and she accommodates students with gluten-free diets, allergies, and other special dietary needs. Ms. Allison serves 600 meals a day and uses her creativity and energy to deal with read more…

Maintenance, Operations and Facilities: Norman Dobrofsky, School Utility Worker, Valley Vista High School, Huntington Beach Union High School District, Fountain Valley, Orange County. (Eight years in current position).

Mr. Dobrofsky is a tireless and dedicated worker who cleans and fixes things at the continuation high school for the Huntington Beach Union HSD. He makes sure that all campus rooms and facilities and prepared and ready for students and staff every single school day. He cleans and stocks all items needed for the on-site child day care center for teen-age parents with infants or toddlers, and he read more…

Office and Technical Support: Bridget Sabin, Registrar, San Dieguito High School Academy, San Dieguito Union High School District, Encinitas, San Diego County. (12 years in current position).

Ms. Sabin was one of the original staff when the high school was renamed in the mid-1990s, and she remains an energetic, popular, and beloved figure on campus. As the one and only registrar, she is responsible for a range of duties including checking every student’s transcript to ensure they are on pace for graduation, registering all freshmen and transfer students as they enroll at the school, and even read more…

Para-Educator and Instructional Assistance: Linda Finken, Instructional Aide, Millville Elementary School, Millville Elementary School District, Millville, Shasta County. (30 years in current position).

Ms. Finken is considered a living treasure at Millville Elementary School where she is a highly popular aide in the classrooms, on the playground, and anywhere else at the one-school, rural district. She has also served as a friend and confidante over the years to hundreds of students at the school, where her four children attended and eight grandchildren currently attend. Her busy schedule includes supporting read more…

Support Services and Security: Angie Porter, Campus Supervisor, Benicia Middle School, Benicia Unified School District, Benicia, Solano County.  (7 years in current position).

Ms. Porter is an invaluable employee at Benicia Middle School, where she is the first staff person that students see when they arrive in the morning. Teachers, fellow staff, and all students rely on her calm, reassuring manner regardless of the situation. She always knows what is happening on campus, provides information to administrators and teachers on campus social issues, and always read more…

Transportation: Andrei Rayas, Vehicle Maintenance Technician, North Monterey County Unified School District, Salinas, Monterey County. (5 ½ years in current position).

Mr. Rayas is responsible for inspection, diagnosis, and repair of school buses and all other vehicles in the fleet at North Monterey County Unified, where he is known for going far above and beyond the basic requirements of his position. He understands the importance of education and good attendance, and he works diligently to make sure all students get to school on time. For example, if a bus read more…

Please visit the California Department of Education’s Classified School Employee of the Year Web page for more information. The program is co-sponsored by the Classified School Employees Association and our Presenting Sponsor, San Mateo-based California Casualty.

Next month is California’s Classified School Employee Week, established as an official week of statewide recognition in 1986 through Senate Bill 1552, which will be celebrated from May 21–27, 2017.

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Contact: Robert Oakes
Phone: 916-319-0818

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Tom Torlakson — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100