IUSD Announces its 2022 Classified Employees of the Year

Employees of the Year

Today, IUSD announced its five 2022 Classified Employees of the Year – Marcus Barnes, Michelle Escobar, Julian Garcia, Breanna Moore and Keri O’Melveny.  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 nearly 2,000 classified employees Districtwide.

A caravan of District employees, including Superintendent Terry Walker, Board Member Lauren Brooks, District staff, CSEA President Janelle Cranch and 2021 Classified Employee of the Year honorees traveled to each site to surprise this year’s honorees in front of their families, colleagues and students.   


The caravan started at the District Office at 8:30 a.m. to recognize Marcus Barnes, who is a Technology Support Specialist with the District’s Information Technology team.  In addition to serving as the lead on several high-profile projects, Marcus has provided IT support for South Lake Middle School, Meadow Park Elementary School and the District Office for the past six years. He is known for taking the time to build rapport with both students and staff by participating in school athletic competitions, staff events and he has even coached the South Lake basketball team. Throughout the pandemic, Marcus helped to ensure that students received Chromebooks that were well maintained. According to his colleagues, Marcus does not hesitate to troubleshoot and find solutions in a timely manner with a positive attitude.


Next, the District caravan traveled to Woodbridge High School at 9 a.m. to honor Breanna Moore, who is a Career Guidance Paraprofessional at Career Link, where she is valued for being an outstanding employee. Breanna’s colleagues praise her for consistently demonstrating kindness and understanding, and for being empathetic and caring, while helping students with special needs overcome struggles that others never dream of facing. She looks at every day as an opportunity to do something different and to make a difference for those she serves. Breanna goes above and beyond the expectations of the job in order to meet positive outcomes for students. Her passion to advocate, teach, counsel, train and prepare students for life after high school, so they can be more independent and confident in their abilities, is what makes Breanna an outstanding employee.


The third stop at 9:45 a.m. was to Woodbury Elementary School to recognize Keri O’Melveny, who is a Nutrition Services Assistant.  Each day, Keri serves more than 550 students lunch with a warm welcome and caring smile. Her colleagues say she is an outstanding example and embodiment of the IUSD Vision, Mission and Values. “Mrs. O,” as she is known, is not just a nutrition assistant, she is a cheerleader celebrating the diversity of each student that comes through her doors. She even manages an Instagram page specifically for her school site cafeteria, promoting what is being served daily to help families better see what a day in the cafeteria will look like. Her cafeteria is a bright ray of sunshine, always adorned with festive seasonal decorations and positive affirmations.


The fourth stop around 10:30 a.m. was to Loma Ridge Elementary School to honor Custodian Julian Garcia, who always has a kind smile for students and staff alike.  According to school leadership, Julian exceeds expectations and his attention to detail is impeccable. He is loved by students, staff and families, because he takes the time to engage with the students, develop positive relationships and serves as another caring and trusted adult, who is always happy to lend a helping hand. In addition to Loma Ridge, Julian is respected by his colleagues throughout the District for his strong work ethic and for serving as a CSEA Steward, advocating for fellow custodians.


Our final stop was to the Campus Safety Offices at 11:15 a.m. to recognize Michelle Escobar, who is an Office Assistant for Campus Safety Services, where she plays a major role in the department’s safety and security matters. Michelle is often the first one to respond to alerts sent by the access control system lockdown buttons, districtwide 911 alerts, two-way radio systems, and related phone calls that come in to Campus Safety.  She has built strong relationships with school and District administrators and does an outstanding job keeping the department on task and moving forward with projects and priorities. Michelle is also a member of the Emergency Preparedness Interagency Collaborative also known as EPIC, the Irvine Police Department’s Irvine Safe Campus, the District’s Emergency Safety Partnership and joint IUSD/IPD Public Safety Quarterly meetings.  According to her colleagues, through her hard work and dedication, Michelle plays a key role in continually improving and supporting the District’s emergency preparedness initiatives. 

Congratulations to each honoree, who will receive a jacket and commemorative plaque courtesy of CSEA Chapter 517. They will also be honored at the May 24 IUSD Board Meeting.