Mary Horner is the San Diego County Office of Education's Classified Employee of the Month for October. Mary has been with the HOPE Infant Family Support program for 21 years.
When she unexpectedly left her first career after an injury, Mary started with the HOPE Infant program part-time. It didn't take her long to realize that she loved the work.
Mary says she enjoys knowing that the work she does brings money to the program and supports the employees who are directly working with children from birth to preschool.
"I work with a group of people that are so very passionate about a population of children that are many times overlooked," she said.
Mary has also make wellness a priority at SDCOE, volunteering to help organize blood drives and as a member of the Wellness @ Work committee.
"Her dedication to fitness and wellness has become infectious," said Christina Fekas-Gorman and Stacy Brandt, who nominated her for Employee of the Month.
Mary plans to retire at the end of the month and already has several trips booked, including Vietnam, New Hampshire, Lake Tahoe, the Galapagos Islands, Italy, and Greece.
In her free time, Mary enjoys taking care of her pets, gardening, reading, and volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and to support military officers and veterans.
"I'm very passionate about Habitat for Humanity," she said. "This is an organization that gives nothing away for free. The people that benefit really have to work hard and are so grateful and appreciative."
The San Diego Blood Bank is also close to her heart. She organized the blood drives at SDCOE's main campus for years.
"Donations help people live," she said. "What could be better than that?"