IUSD Announces 2018 Classified Employees of the Year

2018 employees of the year

Today, IUSD announced its five 2018 Classified Employees of the Year – Dawn Jan, Leanne Lauritzen, Jason Nakatani, Kimberly Quon, and Zeb SamsonClassified employees are individuals who work hard every day to ensure the District runs efficiently to serve our students and their families. They include custodians, paraeducators, media technicians, food services staff members, analysts, secretaries, bus drivers, maintenance technicians, clerks, and all the 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 1,800 classified employees districtwide.

Similar to previous years, a caravan of District employees and Board Members traveled to each winner’s site to surprise them in front of their colleagues and/or their school sites. This year’s well-wishers included Board Members Lauren Brooks, Superintendent Terry Walker, district staff, CSEA President Janelle Cranch and three of the five 2017 Classified Employee of the Year winners – Ari As, Linda Risberg, and Rita Gallegos.  Click Here to see more photos from the day!

8:10 a.m. – The District caravan’s first stop was to Northwood High School to honor Leanne Lauritzen as the first of five 2018 Classified Employee of the Year. Leanne was surprised in front of her colleagues in the administration office and was joined by her family.    

Leanne Lauritzen-Administrative Assistant to the Principal, Northwood High School

leanne lauritizenThe Northwood High nominating team said the following about Leanne:

Leanne lives, breathes, and embodies the spirit of Northwood High School. She is a true model of our core values: compassion, mutual respect and integrity. She is a genuine, completely unselfish, humble human being. She has a positive impact on teachers, students and the community at Northwood. She takes everyone under her wing and helps others find solutions to their problems. She makes connections with students and encourages and mentors them even after they leave Northwood. Leanne attends school events (outside of work), takes classes from the NHS Culinary team, makes jewelry with co-workers, and teaches others to knit. She is always learning and improving her skills. Everyone at Northwood would say that Leanne has made a positive impact on both their personal and professional well-being!

8:40 a.m. – The next stop was to Beacon Park K-8 to announce Kimberly Quon, as a Classified Employee of the Year.  Kimberly was recognized in front of students and her colleagues. 

Kimberly Quon- Instructional Assistant, Beacon Park

kim quonThe Beacon Park nominating team said the following about Kimberly:
Kimberly’s role on the campus at Beacon Park goes way beyond that of an Instructional Assistant. Kimberly is kind, caring, dedicated, responsible and giving. She often puts in several hours to prepare school-wide events. Kimberly is there helping to set up, working the sound booth, advancing slides in slide shows and helping clean up. She comes in on weekends and school breaks to water the gardens which have been grown by the students so that when school resumes, students return to find a beautiful, functioning garden. She attends PLC meetings and grade level meetings to understand how teachers analyze data to plan instruction. She takes the information she learns and uses it to facilitate small group instruction in various classrooms. To say that she is an exceptional employee is an understatement.

9:10 a.m. – The groups’ third stop was to our Maintenance and Operations facility to recognize Zeb Samson as a Classified Employee of the Year.  Zeb was surprised in front of his colleagues and will be pleased to share this news with his wife and newborn twin sons! 

Zeb Samson-Maintenance Technician VI-Welder, Maintenance and Operations (M&O)

zeb samsonThe M&O nominating team said the following about Zeb:
Zeb is a creative force in the maintenance department. He designs racks and storage systems, as well as modifies trucks, carts and trailers. He has a great attitude, is an amazing problem solver and has a clear vision for his department. M&O often receives emails thanking Zeb for the work he does on every campus. No job is too big or too small for Zeb to take on. He strives to maintain a safe environment for staff and students. Zeb has an outstanding work ethic and is always focused on developing new and efficient procedures.

9:40 a.m. – The District caravan’s fourth stop was to University High School to recognize Dawn Jan as the next Classified Employee of the Year.  Dawn was celebrated in front of her colleagues and was joined by her family. 

Dawn Jan- Technician: School Site Accounting, University High School

dawn janThe University High nominating team said the following about Dawn:
Dawn has positively affected the school on so many levels that any description of her efforts would seem to underestimate them. In the short time she has worked in this role, she has made a huge impact. Her rapport with students and staff is phenomenal. Her office is inviting and accessible to both students and staff. She is open to change and encourages innovation. She has modernized many of the procedures in her office. Her smile and optimism makes the lives of students and staff at University High School so much better. Dawn can move mountains if the need arises!

10:10 a.m. – The District team’s final stop was back to the District Office to honor Jason Nakatani, as IUSD’s fifth and final Classified Employee of the Year for 2018.  Jason was recognized in front of his colleagues. 

Jason Nakatani-Specialist: Purchasing, DO

jason nakataniThe Business Services nominating team said the following about Jason:
“How can I solve your problem? ” Those words are often said by Jason and he truly does solve every problem that comes his way. Jason’s exemplary work as a purchasing specialist improves the experience of every student and staff member in our district. He coordinates with every school site, district staff personnel, Maintenance and Operations, and the District warehouse to make sure school sites have the countless items students and staff need. He is unfailingly patient and willing to go out of his way to expedite an order or train someone who is new to the purchasing process. Jason is quick, polite and very responsive to emails and phone calls. Jason’s sense of empathy drives the special touch he puts into his work, and consistently causes him to go beyond the expectations of his job.

Congratulations again to each winner, who will receive a jacket and commemorative plaque courtesy of CSEA Chapter 517. They will also be honored at the May 29 IUSD Board Meeting.