Trustees honored NUSD’s “Classified Employees of the Year” last night (Feb. 13), including district winner Linda Benuto, whose selection was announced several weeks ago when Supt. Chris Evans surprised her with a bouquet of flowers in her Ed Center office.
Other NUSD “Classified Employees of the Year,” by category, are Maria Avila for Para-Educator and Instructional Assistance; Edson Guillen for Maintenance, Operations and Facilities; Cathey Kelly for Child Nutrition; and Alma Weekley for Support Services and Security.
Associate Supt. Angela Herrera and Pamela Rothwell, CSEA president, represented the district in presenting the honorees to the Board. Here’s how each winner was introduced by Herrera to Trustees and assembled friends, families and staff:
“The Board of Trustees is proud to recognize the Classified Employees of the Year and the 2019 District Classified Employee of the Year. As you may know, our Board of Trustees and District is committed to ensuring that each of our staff members be committed, collaborative, caring and exemplary. We ask that staff demonstrate caring through responsive and quality customer service. Each of our Classified Employees of the Year share our commitments and have contributed to the growth and success of Natomas Unified. I am honored to formally introduce each of them.
“Maria Avila is Classified Employee of the Year of Para-Educator and Instructional Assistance. Ms. Avila is an Instructional Assistant at Heron School who has worked for the district since 2010. Ms. Avila is described as an amazing, wonderful, caring, giving, smart, and helpful Instructional Assistant with high expectations for every student. She has the ability to know when students are giving their best and when she can ask and push for more and her instincts are always on target. The students love Ms. Avila for one main reason: she cares. Congratulations and thank you Ms. Avila.
“Edson Guillen is Classified Employee of the Year of Maintenance, Operations and Facilities. Mr. Guillen is a Information Technology Specialist IV who has worked for the District since 2015. Mr. Guillen is described as an employee who is professional with an attitude that is directly represented in the District’s Core beliefs. He is professional and treats everyone at NUSD with respect. Mr. Guillen quietly leads projects such as the Chromebook refresh, Gmail launch, issuing new staff their equipment and more. He once shared that he enjoys working for the school district rather than a larger tech company as he wants to make a difference in student learning and success. Congratulations and thank you Mr. Guillen.
“Cathey Kelly is Classified Employee of the Year of Child Nutrition. Ms. Kelly is a Food Services Assistant II at Two Rivers Elementary School and has worked for the District since 2004. Ms. Kelly is described as an example of the ideal team player who is smart and humble. Her passion for food and service benefit the students and community. In addition to serving breakfast and lunch at Two Rivers, she has been a vital part of providing nutritious meals and quality service for the supper program. Cathy is committed to attending professional development classes through the department and applying the lessons learned by cooking for various catering events. Congratulations and thank you Ms. Kelly.
“Alma Weekley is Classified Employee of the Year of Support Services and Security. Ms. Weekley, who was unable to attend this evening, is an English Learner Program Technician and Interpreter for the District and has worked for the District since 2011. Ms. Weekley is described as an employee who is deeply committed to the success of our English Learners. She is integral to the day to day operations supporting over 1,500 PK-12 English Learners in our District, as well as another 1,000+ Redesignated students. Alma is thoughtful and responsive and often the first one to volunteer to help in translations, parent needs, site questions, and direct student supports. Congratulations and thank you Ms. Weekley.
“I am extremely proud to introduce Linda Benuto as our District Classified Employee of the Year. Ms. Benuto, who began with the District in 2006, has served as an Office Specialist, Attendance Tech and Campus Safety Specialist before joining the Human Resources Department in 2012. As the Human Resources Technician, Ms. Benuto is the face of the District for new employees as she coordinates employment interviews and each day she works diligently to place substitutes to serve our students. She is helpful, upbeat and always has a smile on her face. Furthermore, Ms. Benuto often serves the entire Natomas community by volunteering at Joey’s Food Locker and donating to our foster and homeless youth as needed with toys, coats and groceries. Congratulations and thank you Ms. Benuto.
Congratulations again to all of our Classified Employees of the Year!”