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 Getting to Know SDCOE: Graphic Designer Enjoys Problem-Solving

The San Diego County Office of Education's (SDCOE) Classified Employee of the Month for September is Katy Keller Cerises, graphic arts technician.

Get to know a bit about her and the work she does with this brief interview.

How long have you been with SDCOE? 25 years as of March 2018.

What do you find most rewarding about your job? I find it very rewarding when I can help a client solve a problem that results in a useful, tangible design that promotes their product or service. I love to see my work in print and posted on campus or on a webpage. It's fun to point to a poster and tell someone, "I made that!"  

Tell us about your co-workers and why you appreciate them. I love my co-workers! Especially my partner-in-art, my pal Albert "Big Al" Hernandez. We work very well together and easily support one another collaborating on projects or brainstorming ideas for jobs. He keeps me smiling through the insanity of some of the more difficult requests we get. I love my department and the camaraderie we share. It's a fun and creative atmosphere. Our bosses are encouraging and give us the latitude to be ourselves while trusting us to be professional and meet project deadlines.       

How do you like to spend your free time?  When I am not at work you can find me riding my motorcycle with my husband (Mr. Bear), swimming in the ocean, traveling to Yucca Valley, or spoiling our 1-year-old puppy, Whiskey, a German Short-haired Pointer.   

Is there anything else you would like to add about your experience at SDCOE, yourself, or any associations or organizations with which you are involved? I hold the office of chief union steward for Chapter 568 of the California School Employees Association, the union that represents classified support staff here at SDCOE. I achieved Competent Communicator and Competent Leader in Toastmasters International.

The one thing people would be surprised to know about me is I can dead-lift 135 pounds 100 times (10 sets of 10). I enjoy ocean swimming with my 81-year-old mom at La Jolla Cove, going to the half-mile buoy and back. I am not afraid of sharks. I'm a bad-ass old lady.

What do others have to say about Katy?

In their nomination, Judy Butterfield, Keith Hildreth, and Oscar Campos said: "Katy is a consummate graphic designer. She takes customer's ideas and transforms them into amazing pieces of art that are ready in record time!"