Five classified school employees - including one from Hughson and one from Ceres - have been chosen to represent Stanislaus County in the 2018 State "Classified School Employees of the Year" program.
The five are:
• Lily Madrigal, Hughson Unified School District, Para-Educator category;
• Cesar Fernandez, Ceres Unified School District, Maintenance/Operations category;
• Chris Flores, Oakdale Joint Unified School District, Child Nutrition category;
• Aracelia Rodriguez, Waterford Unified School District, Support/Security Services category;
• Jill Hayes, Modesto City Schools, Office and Technical category.
School districts throughout Stanislaus County selected their own honorees and forwarded nominations to SCOE's "Employees Making a Difference," program. Twenty-four classified staff members were honored at a special reception held Jan. 23 at the Martin G. Petersen Event Center in Modesto. They were honored by the Stanislaus County Office of Education (SCOE) and the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) Stanislaus Charter.
It was also announced that night that Cesar Fernandez of La Rosa Elementary in Ceres is the recipient of the second annual "Jane Johnston Civility Award" for exemplifying the principles of civility at his school site.
Lily Madrigal is considered a crucial member of the Hughson Elementary campus and Hughson community as she both serves as a paraprofessional at the Language Learning Center where she assists second-language learners with the obstacles they face. As the coordinator at the Health Start Center, she works with parents with young children. She also has served as the PTC president, chair of the Bond Oversight Committee, board member for the Hughson Education Foundation, and member of the Student Attendance Review Board. Madrigal helps to organize and lead the Latino Literacy Program and Parent Help classes. She assists and advocates during the spring Kinder Registration. She hires and organizes the kinder aides who assist in classrooms for the first 20 day of school. She is known for her Road to Kinder program - a four-night event to acclimate kinder students and their parents that culminates with a mini graduation ceremony for the 120 families that participate and loaded backpacks for their children.
"The most rewarding thing for me is when my students exceed my high expectations in language acquisition," said Madrigal. "Also, working closely with parents from our community and seeing the results that they achieve by implementing empowering parenting strategies. It brings me joy to see them helping their children, by taking on an active role in their education and being an advocate for their current and future academic needs."
Cesar Fernandez was selected for being one of the key players in making sure the La Rosa Elementary School campus operates. His nominators say Cesar takes pride and ownership in every task he completes with the quality of his work is second to none. Cesar comes to work each day with a smile on his face and a good attitude. Involved in school activities apart from his work, Fernandez will often mentor troubled students, especially those struggling to make friends or make good choices on campus. He does this by lending his ear and talk about life lessons. His peers say he is a great role model and makes a difference in the lives of students each day. Cesar also volunteers his time for school events such as the Fall Festival and Family Movie Night. He also coaches soccer.
Also honored were these employees who were nominated for the honor:
• Laura Isleib of the Ceres Unified School District office;
• Juliana Trejo of Blaker Kinser Junior High in CUSD;
• Veronica Montes of Spratling Middle School in Keyes;
• Oyuki Angel of Walnut Grove School in Patterson;
• Traci Fuller of Hughes Elementary in the Empire Unified School District;
• Noemi Guevara of Grayson Elementary School in Patterson;
• Jennifer Hobbs of the Stanislaus Union School District office;
• Rufus Keaton of Turlock High School;
• Tina Lane of Cloverland Elementary School in Oakdale;
• Cheryl Lopez of Ustach Middle School in Modesto's Sylvan Union district;
• Carrie Manzo of Crowell Elementary in Turlock;
• Jose Madrigal of the Riverbank Unified School District office;
• Iliana Maratty of the Stanislaus County Office of Education;
• Candelario Monroy of Enochs High School in Modesto;
• Jamie Morrill of Lakewood Elementary School in Modesto;
• Yia Moua of Walnut Elementary School in Turlock;
• Theresa Navarro of Barrington School in Newman;
• Tracy Peart at Mary Ann Sanders Elementary in Modesto (Sylvan Union School District);
• Nancy Vernacchio of Burbank Elementary School in Modesto.