Shauna Stark, Education Business Systems (EBS), has a lot of qualities that inspired her team to nominate her as the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) Classified Manager of the Year.
"When someone is that knowledgeable, professional, committed, dedicated, supportive, morale-building, inspiring, and funny, how could you not award them manager of the year?" said Leah Bubel, a functional systems analyst on Stark's team.
Stark frequently encourages her team to take advantage of the many learning opportunities available to SDCOE employees and tries to keep things upbeat.
"We work really hard, but we try to keep it fun," Stark said. "It's important to not take ourselves too seriously."
Stark has been in her current role as enterprise business system implementation expert since 2011. She said she enjoys knowing that her work makes things easier for EBS users across the county so they have more time to focus on educating students.
Stark has shared her knowledge and expertise with SDCOE since 1981, when she started working as an account clerk.
At first, it was just a good place to work with great benefits.
"I thought I'd do this while I figure out what I really wanted to do, and I never left," she said.
It wasn't long before she found that she really enjoyed working with her colleagues at SDCOE to support local districts. She has worked in Financial Accounting, Retirement, Systems Utilization, and other departments during her 35 years here. She even spent a few years as chief business officer of Mountain Empire Unified School District.
Through it all, Stark has been grateful for the chances she has to grow and learn.
"There's a lot of opportunity here if you just go for it," Stark said.
Stark embodies everything an employee could want in a leader, said Wendyl Aban, another functional systems analyst on the team.
"A great manager is an analyst, decision maker, servant leader, coach, and cheerleader," Aban said. "Shauna Stark is one such manager."
Stark credits her team with much of her success.
"I have the best manager job ever," she said.