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 Getting to Know SDCOE: Student Support Specialist Recognized for Her Work Ethic

Maria Pesiri stands out to her co-workers at the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) for her great work ethic.

The student support specialist's dedication to her work and to the students at Innovations Academy of Empowerment are a big part of why she was recognized as SDCOE's Classified Employee of the Month for February.

"Maria jumps in wherever needed without hesitation," said Mandy Lievanos, one of Pesiri's co-workers with SDCOE's Juvenile Court and Community Schools (JCCS). "She always has a smile on her face and is a model co-worker."

Pesiri has been with SDCOE for more than 16 years. She started her career as a teacher working with preschoolers and kindergarteners but moved to JCCS because she wanted to work with older students.

The most rewarding thing about her job is when students who have turned their lives around come back to visit.

"Many of our students have gone through difficult times and knowing they've conquered their obstacles warms my heart," she said.

The employees in the JCCS North Region are like a family for Pesiri.

"They truly care about what's best for the students," she said. "They make work fun, and I know that they are always there to support me both professionally and personally."

In her free time, Pesiri likes to watch movies, read mystery books, play Scrabble, and relax at home with her husband.