The San Benito County Office of Education celebrated its 2017-18 Certificated and Classified Employees of the Year at an April 26 banquet at Veterans Memorial Building in Hollister.
Along with honoring the teaching staff, the event also recognized the professionals “who provide valuable services to the schools and students and who strive for excellence in all areas relative to the educational community,” district staff said.
Here is excerpts from the complimentary remarks made for each classified employee of the year:
Arturo Lara, R.O. Hardin Elementary School, Hollister School District
Lara, a night custodian of 21 years, has been helping maintain R.O. Hardin since 1997. From his every day duties, to deep cleaning jobs, to making sure events happening in the evening run smoothly, Arturo is an exemplary staff member who is always willing to lend a helping hand.
Carmen Beijines, Rancho San Justo Middle School, Hollister School District
Beijines, an office manager of 28 years, is a pivotal member of the staff. She provides calm and knowledge for students and staff, while always seeking new and better ways to serve both. Carmen has vast experience, ensures that the office runs smoothly and provides support whenever and wherever she can.
Carol Heiderich, San Benito High School District
Heiderich, the administrative assistant to the superintendent who has 28 years with the district, was voted for this award for her unsurpassed commitment to SBHS. Last school year, as Human Resources Specialist II, Carol not only fulfilled the demands of her own position but also that of the Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent. She worked seven days a week and was often the first person on campus and the last to leave. She provides exemplary customer service with a positive attitude and a smile. She models the Baler Spirit in her dedication to San Benito High School District.
Cindy Brown, Hollister Dual Language Academy/Gabilan Hills, Hollister School District
Brown, a library media specialist with more than 30 years with the district, has been a constant in our school community for many years and has created a warm and happy library experience for every student. Cindy carefully stocks our library with relevant books and as HDLA has grown, built up the library with Spanish and middle school selections. This year as two schools become one community, Cindy has the additional task of making sure that all of our 35 teachers have textbooks and materials that they need. She is digging deep into storage rooms to organize us and not blinked an eye as we add new classes each year. Cindy is flexible, caring, patient, and personable.
Enrique Zendejas, Ladd Lane School, Hollister School District
Zendejas, school secretary of five years, is the definition of a team player. As secretary, he welcomes students and parents, supports teachers and administrators and helps keep the office moving in a positive direction. Enrique is very organized and really cares about the student’s well-being at Ladd Lane School.
Esther Esqueda, Spring Grove School, North County Joint Union School District
Esqueda, food service worker during school year and custodian over the summer for the last 16 years, has a heart for kids. She always wants to make sure that our students are fed and happy. Esther always says “Good morning” to everyone who comes by. In the summer, Esther is an amazing custodian. She is our detail person who helps to make our school sparkle each summer.
Jean Hinkel-Taluban, Hollister Dual Language Academy/Gabilan Hills, Hollister School District
Hinkel-Taluban, a school secretary with 11 years in district and first at school, has the kindest, most patient way with every single person she interacts with, and she truly is a joy to work with side by side. Jean seeks to learn at every opportunity, she is professional, organized, efficient and humble. Jean makes it a point to address every visitor with a smile, and to greet any challenges with a can do attitude that makes the busy office of a school of over 1,000 students and staff a wonderful place to be.
Jose Munoz, Sunnyslope School, Hollister School District
Munoz, the lead custodian with 21 years in district and three at Sunnyslope, has a can-do attitude and knows his purpose at the school site: to support everyone at the school site and help our students reach their maximum potential. He is always willing to take on any job presented to him. He manages the needs of the teachers, students and families. He keeps our campus clean and is always quick with a “Good Morning” to anyone who visits our campus.
Karen Whitney, Bitterwater-Tully School District
Whitney, a TK-3rd grade instructional aide/substitute teacher with seven years in district, is a model employee that is always on time with an easy smile on her face that brightens everyone’s day. No task is too big or too small for her. She has no trouble working with the children in a multi-grade classroom from holding the attention of my Pre-K and Kindergartners to reading with the advancing 3rd graders.
Kristine Rosales, Marguerite Maze Middle School, Hollister School District
Rosales, an office manager of two years, is a team player. She is always willing to collaborate and get things done. She is a problem solver and always willing to take a risk by bringing up new ideas to the table. Kris is compassionate and caring about the students at Maze. You can count on Kris to comfort students who at times need a quiet moment to reduce their anxiety or relieve stress. She is respectful when speaking with parents, students, and colleagues at Maze.
Michelle Pasillas, San Andreas Continuation High School and Santa Ana Opportunity Schoole, San Benito County Office of Education
Pasillas, who has been with district for 10 years, is the glue that holds many things together. Michelle is amazing at handling all aspects of running the front office. She is calm, direct and knows how to assist in every situation that she encounters. Michelle is kind, caring, strict and fair. She has wisdom that many coworkers can learn from, is a giving colleague, and has an impeccable work ethic.
Robert Beltran, Cerra Vista School, Hollister School District
Beltran, the lead custodian of 28 years, is consistent in his attentiveness to staff and their needs. He picks up a radio call right away and always does a little extra for us. What we find most impressive is the relationships he builds with students and the high expectations he has for their character building and responsibility. Robert listens and takes the time to get to know students.
Thelma Buckley, San Juan School, Aromas-San Juan Unified School District
Buckley, the school secretary with 34 years in district, is helpful to everyone in the front office, has a deep well of knowledge about the school and community, and always has a smile for all. She provides supplies, forms, and general help in all areas. Office tasks are efficiently and smoothly handled, and always on time, as a result of her competence and skill. She is always patient, willing to lend a hand, and sympathetic to other people’s deadlines and priorities.
Yolanda Villalon, Calaveras School, Hollister School District
Villalon, lead student nutrition worker of 21 years, is always helpful in any situation to students, staff and administration. You can see her early in the morning getting ready for her busy day. She always shows up with a positive, can-do attitude. She works really hard to produce delicious and nutritious meals for our students. She communicates well with students, staff and administration.