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 Marta Cervantes Reflects on 38 Years with SDCOE

Marta Cervantes shown working in the 1980s.When Marta Cervantes applied for a job at the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) in 1975, she didn’t even really want  it. In fact, she went out of her way to botch her interviews, hoping to be turned down so she could move with her family to Arizona. Not only did she get the job, but she must have enjoyed it. She’s still here

In her nearly four decades working for the SDCOE, she has worked for nearly every division and in almost every building on the main campus.

“In every job, I’ve been really happy,” she said. “Every job was unique, and every job was a learning experience.”

She started out helping with career counseling in the Regional Occupational Program (ROP) truck, which went to schools, shopping centers, jails, and other public places. Since then, she has worked in Pupil Services, ROP San Diego, ROP Escondido, Commercial Warrants, Legal Services, Payroll, Financial Accounting, Joint Powers Authority (JPA), Benefits, and Outdoor Education. For the last two months, she has worked for Learning and Leadership Services.

Through those experiences over the years, she said she has learned to value her friends and co-workers here as well some of her great supervisors, such Sylvia Hamlin and Sharon McKinney.

“My happiness comes from the people who work with me,” she said.

Cervantes always maintains a positive attitude and enthusiasm for her work, Assistant Superintendent Michele Fort-Merrill said. “She remains excited about her work, takes much pride in it, and tries hard to learn the work wherever she’s assigned.”

Though her work here prevented her from moving to Arizona with her family all those years ago, Cervantes said she plans to spend a summer there catching up with family when she retires in three years.

“That’s my dream,” she said.