Mandy Lievanos was excited to find out who would be named SDCOE’s Classified Employee of the year—not because she expected to win, but because she had nominated a coworker whom she was rooting for.
When the news came that she was the one receiving the honor, she said she was surprised and honored.
There was a lot of competition this year for the award, too. Employees nominated 11 of their peers, about twice the number of people nominated in recent years.
Lievanos has been with the Juvenile Court and Community Schools (JCCS) program for the last 16 years. She started as a teacher assistant and became an attendance clerk in 2006.
She said she fell in love with the job right away because she enjoyed working with students and knowing that no two days would be alike.
"I love the challenge," she said. "You can change a kid’s life."
Lievanos is a hard-working and well-liked member of the JCCS team, said Dixie Bryant, who nominated her.
"I have worked with many good staff members over the years, but I have never worked with someone so committed to the students we serve, as understanding of the challenges our teaches face, and as creative in trying to be a part of the daily solutions to bridge the gaps as resources shrink," Bryant said. "Mandy is truly making a difference every day in our schools."
Lievanos works on The Hill two days a week and works with students up in North County the other three. She helped start and continues to work with sports leagues at the JCCS schools.
As an attendance clerk, she keeps track of when students miss school and helps find out why they're not there. She said she loves giving out attendance awards and acknowledging students who are doing well.
"It’s not always all negative," she said. "I like to make it more positive."
The San Diego County Board of Education will recognize Lievanos at its regular meeting this month. She also will get a special parking place all year.