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 Chula Vista Behavior Specialist Named California Classified School Employee of the Year

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today honored a Chula Vista Elementary School District behavior specialist as one of six Classified School Employees of the Year. Maria Arroyo, who has worked at Daly Academy for the last 12 years, was honored in the para-educator and instructional assistance category.Chula Vista Elementary teacher Maria Arroyo

There is not a single “hat” that Arroyo doesn’t wear at Daly Academy. The work that she does on any single day is nearly unmatched — it takes a special type of person to do it all with a smile and a desire to do it well so that students have an amazing day. Arroyo understands trauma-informed care and never takes things personally. The children immediately know they will be loved, cared for, and educated. This allows for an environment of grace which helps children thrive.

Arroyo will be honored by Thurmond at a luncheon in Sacramento on May 23, along with Debora Watkins, food service cook, Westminster School District; Kim Bramsen, director of Maintenance and Operations, Ballard Elementary School, Ballard School District, Santa Barbara County; Michelle Brobak, school secretary, Del Rey Elementary, Orinda Union School District, Contra Costa County; Benito Torres, police officer, Stockton Public Safety Academy, Stockton Unified School District, San Joaquin County; and Ramon Moreno, bus driver, Greenfield Union School District, Monterey County. 

“Meeting students’ basic needs, as well as their social and emotional needs, is essential to ensuring that every student can learn,” said Thurmond. “These dedicated employees make sure that kids have healthy meals, safe transportation on school buses, and have someone to talk to during difficult times in their lives — allowing California’s students to reach their greatest potential.”

The annual program honors six outstanding classified school employees from the following categories: child nutrition;maintenance, operations, and facilities; office and technical support; para-educator and instructional assistance; support services and security; and transportation. This year’s recipients were chosen from more than 100 nominations statewide.

For more information, visit the California Department of Education’s Classified School Employee of the Year web page. California’s Classified School Employee Week, established as an official week of statewide recognition in 1986 through Senate Bill 1552, will be celebrated from May 19 to May 25, 2019.