IUSD Announces 2024 Classified Employees of the Year

Employee of the Year Announcements

Today, IUSD announced its five 2024 Classified Employees of the Year – Luis Acuna Alvarado, Edgar Estrada, Kanchana Karthikeyan, Mimi Marrocco and Andres Roman. Classified employees include custodians, para-educators, media technicians, food services staff members, analysts, secretaries, bus drivers, maintenance technicians, clerks, and other non-certificated staff members. Most are represented by the California School Employees Association (CSEA). This year’s five employees were selected from more than 3,000 classified employees Districtwide.

A team from the District, including Board Members Lauren Brooks, Dr. Jeff Kim and Katie McEwen, Superintendent Terry Walker, District staff and CSEA President Gus Talamantes traveled to each site to surprise this year’s honorees in front of their families, colleagues and students.

Luis Acuna Alvarado - Special Education Instructional Assistant

The quality of Luis’s work and his interaction with students and Santiago Hills Elementary colleagues alike are exemplary. Luis’s efforts extend beyond the physical assistance he provides; he is a beacon of encouragement, celebrating every milestone and success with genuine joy and pride. Luis consistently seeks opportunities to enhance his skills and knowledge, particularly in areas that can directly benefit his students. His dedication to fostering an inclusive, supportive and motivating environment for students underscores the profound impact he has on their educational experiences and personal growth. His hard work, proactive approach, and positive interactions serve as an inspiration to all of us.

Edgar Estrada - Lead Custodian

Edgar has made exceptional contributions to South Lake Middle School and its community. Edgar is student-focused and always thinking two steps ahead to ensure student success. What sets Edgar apart is the rapport he builds with the students. He takes time out of his day to put up soccer goals, donate his soccer equipment, and even join in and compete in student activities. Additionally, he attends sporting events to support current and former Sharks. Students, staff and parents collectively have only positive things to say about Edgar and are thankful for all he does throughout the school.

Kanchana Karthikeyan - Behavior Interventionist 

Kanchana works incredibly hard to ensure that her Cypress Village Elementary staff and students feel supported. Her mission in life is to see students in Autism Specific Classrooms gain skills and make progress to help them be the absolute best they can be. Kanchana ensures each staff member feels comfortable, prepared and ready to begin. Kanchana works hard to meet the needs of her students and colleagues.

Mimi Marrocco - Elementary Resource Counselor

Mimi Marrocco has had a phenomenal impact on the lives of students, staff, and parents since Loma Ridge Elementary opened its doors in August 2019! Her dedication, tireless work ethic, and calm, caring and compassionate approach have ensured that Loma’s community has a champion looking out for student wellness at all times. She teaches social and emotional learning lessons in every classroom while maintaining an online parent resource corner! The Loma Ridge community's collective trust and confidence in Mimi is unwavering making her beyond deserving of this honor!

Andres Roman - Grounds Foreman

Andres Roman has had several standout professional accomplishments throughout his tenure with IUSD, starting his professional journey with IUSD as a Grounds Technician. Andres spent many years growing his skills in landscaping, always learning about new techniques, pieces of equipment and methods of landscaping. Andres’ leadership skills, professionalism and positive working relationships with his colleagues have made him an effective Grounds Forman. The effort he puts into his duties, the quality of the work he executes and the way he inspires his crews, routinely exceed expectations.

Watch the video below to hear from Director of HR Susan Kemp, Board Members Lauren Brooks and Katie McEwen and Superintendent Terry Walker, all while checking out the day's highlights!

Employee of the Year Video