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Loeffler feted as teacher
Paula Loeffler took home two awards from Thursday night's Ceres School Board meeting.

Loeffler, a P.E. teacher at Blaker-Kinser Jr. High School for the past 17 years, was named Ceres Unified School District Certificated Employee of the Year.

Paula realized she was in the running for the district-wide honor after school-site awards were presented to 18 other teachers, including Jennifer Cervantes (Adkison), Sarah Wells (Caswell), Mark Cole (Don Pedro), Jindar Johal (Carroll Fowler), Jessica Garcia (Hidahl), Patrick Newton (La Rosa), Sarah MacDonald (Sam Vaughn), Eva Purkis (Sinclear), Stacey Barton (Virginia Parks), Michele Turpin (Walter White), Lucila Mendoza (Westport), Cheryl Lloyd (Whitmore), Greg Raynes (Mae Hensley), Paula Aguiar (Argus), Stephanie Beck (Central Valley), Christopher Van Meter (Ceres High), Suzanne Valenzuela (Preschool) and Christy Werner (Student Support Services).

"It's pretty exciting," Loeffler said. "I got recognized for all the stuff I do. I feel honored. I really enjoy being a positive role model for the students."

Ceres Unified Superintendent Scott Siegel, Deputy Superintendent Mary Jones, and Assistant Superintendents Denise Wickham, Fred Van Vleck and Jay Simmonds participated in the selection process.

"It was a cabinet-level decision," Siegel said. "There was no scoring system. We know the teachers because we're in the classrooms a lot. We read through nominations. Not to take anything away from Paula, but there's a lot of deserving people in the group."

Loeffler's thankful for the recognition.

"There's a lot of teachers that go above and beyond," she said. "We work hard and try to make a difference."