Linda Benuto is known for reaching out to others, but instead, the tables turned and the spotlight shined on her today as Supt. Chris Evans surprised her with news that she’s NUSD’s new Classified Employee of the Year.
Benuto’s eyes filled with tears as Evans presented her with a bouquet of flowers at the Ed Center, where she works as a Human Resources Technician.
I’m so excited,” she said later. “I don’t think I’ll ever forget this – it’s amazing.”
Benuto also described herself as humbled by the honor, noting “I know there are a lot more people out there just as deserving of this as I am.”
In her dozen years with NUSD, Benuto worked as a part-time campus safety specialist, a middle school attendance technician, and an office safety specialist before coming to the Ed Center’s Human Resources Department in 2012.
One of her key responsibilities now is to contact and assign substitutes when staff are sick or absent. She also plays a key role in recruiting NUSD’s substitute employees.
Co-workers say Benuto exemplifies NUSD’s Core Belief that staff be “committed, collaborative, caring and exemplary.”
Nomination documents described Benuto as someone who “works diligently and constantly on ensuring that all substitute needs are met. This impacts every department, program, staff and student in the district.”
Benuto is “constantly working to problem-solve and meet the needs of everyone,” the nomination added. “She is always kind and, while under high amounts of stress, still treats everyone with respect.”
A colleague listed numerous ways that Benuto has gone “over and beyond the call of duty” in serving NUSD families, including:
1) Volunteering diligently at Joey’s Food Locker, which is NUSD’s community food closet located at Natomas High School
2) Buying groceries for families who are hungry, and buying toys to help families in need during the holiday season
3) Buying a lot of coats for foster students to support NUSD’s recent coat drive
4) Providing emotional support to many employees and recruiting potential district employees
Benuto also has played a key role in NUSD’s annual thank-you reception honoring substitute staff of all types, from teachers to custodians to bus drivers, for their service to students, families and schools.
As NUSD’s Classified Employee of the Year, Benuto qualifies for consideration for countywide honors by the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE). The county winner is chosen from honorees of local school districts.