May Award Recipients
Congratulations to the Professional Growth Committee
Shared Values Award for Best Staff & High Standards
On May 15, 2018, Downey Unified’s Professional Growth Committee was recognized by the Board of Education with the Shared Values Award in the area Best Staff and High Standards. These individuals were recognized for reflecting high moral and ethical character, and consistently modeling a passion for education. The Professional Growth Committee is made up of : Tami Shilling, Nora Ortiz, David Cubas, Manuel Chavez-Mora, Linda Ratzlaff, Craig Karli (from left to right) Rosie Abrego and Stephanie McCoy (not shown in photo)
April Award Recipients
Downey Unified Transportation Employee Recognized by State Superintendent Tom Torlakson
State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Announces 2018 Classified School Employees of the Year
On Tuesday, April 24, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson honored six outstanding classified school employees for their dedication to California’s public-school students. Making up those six individuals honored, Downey Unified’s own Loyjean Estrada was awarded this recognition for the dedication she has shown towards students since beginning her career with Downey Unified.
“In light of recent events, school climate and a nurturing environment for students are more important than ever. These outstanding employees play critical roles in creating that environment,” Torlakson said. “They are dedicated and strive for excellence. It’s the same whether they’re serving healthy meals, driving the school bus, keeping a campus safe, or checking transcripts to make sure students are on pace to graduate. I applaud their fantastic work in helping students realize their full potential.”
Loyjean Estrada has worked in the Transportation Department as a bus driver for Downey Unified for the past 13 years. The following statements were used to describe her during the announcement that was made on Tuesday: Estrada’s dedication to her students shines through. School staff, parents, fellow drivers, and teachers all compliment her professionalism, attitude and kindness towards her students. She takes special care to find out about any issues or accommodations students with special needs and disabilities may require. She treats her co-workers like a second family, always energetic and caring. It takes a special person to handle the daily technical tasks of operating a school bus, dealing with traffic in and outside of school grounds and still keeping a smile and pleasant demeanor.
The annual program honors six outstanding classified school employees from the following categories: Child Nutrition; Maintenance, Operations, and Facilities; Office and Technical Support; Para-Educator and Instructional Assistance; Support Services and Security; and Transportation. This year’s recipients were chosen from more than 100 nominations statewide.
The 2018 Classified School Employees of the Year, who will be honored by Torlakson at a luncheon in Sacramento on May 24, 2018. Please visit the California Department of Education’s Classified School Employee of the Year Web page for more information.
Next month is California’s Classified School Employee Week, established as an official week of statewide recognition in 1986 through Senate Bill 1552, which will be celebrated from May 21–25, 2018.
March Award Recipients
On March 6, 2018, Downey Unified’s Karlin LaPorta was recognized for receiving the Shared Values Award in the area of Teaching and Learning. An employee within Downey Unified for over 20 years, LaPorta is currently a Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA) and was selected to receive this award for her efforts in developing programs and curriculum that engage and motivate students in learning.
Warren High School teacher Christine Spino and WHS Teen Connection were also recognized in March with the Shared Values Award in the area of Positive School Culture. This incredible group was selected for this award for their continuous efforts to build a culture of understanding and mutual respect among all members of their campus.
February Award Recipients
In February, the Operations Department Supervisor, Quinton Riles, accompanied by his staff, received the Shared Values Award in the area of Clean and Safe Schools for all the hard work that is done to keep our schools and learning environments clean for our students.
January Award Recipients
On January 16, 2018, our Elementary Teachers on Special Assignment (TOSA) and our Maintenance Department were honored by the Board of Education with Shared Values Awards!
The Elementary TOSAs (Glenda Martinez, Melissa Canham and Julie Yearsley) received the Shared Values Award in the area of Teaching and Learning for engaging and motivating students in learning.
The Maintenance Department (Director, John Shook and Supervisor, Craig Karli) received the Shared Values Award in the area of Clean and Safe Schools for all the work their department does on a daily basis to keep our learning environments clean for our students.