Classified School Employee Week

May 21-27 is Classified School Employee Week
Posted on 05/19/2023
Socorro Fisher

The Chula Vista Elementary School District (CVESD) is joining school districts throughout California to celebrate Classified School Employee Week on May 21-27, 2023. A law enacted by the California Legislature designates a whole week in May as Classified School Employee Week, and this designation recognizes classified employees' valuable services to California public schools.

The District employs nearly 1,759 classified, management, supervisory, confidential, and support personnel. The Board of Education and the District Superintendent recognize that the District can be only as strong as the people it employs and that classified employees are genuinely one of our most significant resources. Classified employees have roles of profound importance and help prepare our school community's children to succeed in the 21st century and beyond. Classified School Employee Week provides an opportunity to recognize the contributions of these employees. Congratulations to the following CVESD employees who were announced as our Classified Employees of the Year for the 2022-23 school year.

Nicola Coghill – Burton C. Tiffany: Nicola Coghill has worked as the School Secretary for Tiffany School for ten years. She is a parent of two children in the District, which keeps her very busy! She has lived in San Diego since 2006 and is originally from Scotland, and she is a dual citizen of the United States and the United Kingdom. To be nominated as Classified Employee of the Year for the second year running is a great honor, and she feels validated and seen by her coworkers. She strives to always provide a friendly, welcoming, safe, and professional environment in the school office for the students, her coworkers, and the parents and community members she works with.

Alejandra Diaz – Clearview: Alejandra Diaz is a native San Diegan. She is married with four children and has lived in San Diego all her life. Her background in Criminal Justice and working with Juvenile Court and Community schools has given her the tools to work with youth more efficiently. In addition, her medical and behavioral health experience and training give her a better insight into dealing with more challenging situations. One of the reasons that make her continue to strive towards bettering herself each day through continuing education is that she genuinely enjoys trying to improve a young person’s mind so they may have a more positive outlook.

Dianna Lopez – Harborside: Dianna K. Lopez is an Instructional Assistant-Behavior Specialist at Harborside Elementary. She has worked for the District for 21 years and 18 years at Harborside Elementary School. She has held her current position since 2018 with specialty training in Trauma Informed Schools, Restorative Practices, and Crisis Prevention Institute certification. She is on the Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Tier I, II, and III Teams. In addition, she serves as Site Rep Coordinator for CVCEO. She holds an associate degree from Southwestern Community College.

Suzanne Puente – Corky McMillin: Suzanne Puente has worked at the District for over 17 years as a Student Attendant. She currently works at McMillin Elementary in a primary grade-level class.

Silvia Gil – Rosebank: Silvia Gil has been with the District since October 2007. She started as a Kinder Instructional Assistant, and after five years, she became an RSP Instructional Assistant for eight years. She also served as an office clerk at Vista Square Elementary. Finally, in July 2021, she became the School Secretary at Rosebank Elementary. Before becoming a District employee, she volunteered at Vista Square and was involved in PTA, School Site Council, and DAC/ DELAC.

Gina-Marie McConkey – Ella B. Allen: Gina-Marie McConkey is blessed to be a part of the Allen community since her boys attended school there from September 1995 - June 2007. She began by being a room parent and then became a Noon Duty Supervisor in May 2002. She often substituted in the office and expanded her familiarity with the students and all the families. From there, she was hired to be the Librarian in March 2011, and a few years later, she was promoted. She is on noon duty and LTT and fills in where the school needs her assistance. She is also an Advisor for Safety Patrol, Student Council, and Peace Patrol. Being at Allen feels like family, not only with staff but with every single child and family. She loves being a part of such a tight community. She knows being there has improved her life and hopes her presence adds to the family's positive experiences at Allen.

Marilu Garcia – Saburo Muraoka: Marilu Garcia has been employed by CVESD since 2014 as a noon duty supervisor and in 2021 as an Instructional Assistant ELL. Currently, she is working in both positions at Muraoka Elementary. As a noon duty supervisor, she works hard daily to keep the students safe and happy. She always focuses on the students' necessities, creating lasting relationships with them while constantly reminding them to be responsible, respectful, and kind. As an IA ELL, she’s leading groups to support and encourage English learners to help them feel in a safe and welcoming environment, as well as helping them to reach the next level and be successful in their integration into the English language. With a positive attitude and the highest level of commitment, she helps support students and staff in anything they need with respect, kindness, and a smile.

Rosana Dominguez – Salt Creek: Rosana Dominguez is an Instructional Assistant in Special Education at Salt Creek Elementary School. With 22 years of experience in CVESD, she has dedicated 11 years to Salt Creek. Her passion for helping preschool and elementary students grew stronger when she joined the Special Education Team. Her dedication earned her two awards for the Salt Creek Classified Employee of the Year. Rosana's expertise and experience have proven to be an asset for the growth and progress of students' education. She plans to retire soon and spend more time traveling with her family and grandchildren.

Rebecca Enriquez – Chula Vista Community Collaborative: Rebecca Enriquez has been a part of CVESD for 16 years, starting as an AmeriCorps volunteer for the Chula Vista Community Collaborative (CVCC) at 19 years old. Her work with Vista Square Elementary School students helped them achieve higher reading levels. She was hired part-time by CVESD and CVCC, assisting with outreach and data entry. Over time, Rebecca became a full-time CVCC staff member, helping students, families, and community members in need. She enjoyed her previous role as the front person at the Beacon Family Resource Center (FRC)for many years and now serves as a Clerk Typist III for CVCC Administration. Rebecca is creative, supportive, and resourceful in her current position, working with partners to bring significant resources to our Family Resource Centers, benefiting CVESD, SUHSD, and the Chula Vista Community. While she misses working with families, her new position has taught her how CVCC helps the community from behind the scenes. She is grateful for the recognition and honored to be a part of CVESD and CVCC, where she has grown into an adult, gotten married, and had a child.

Illiana Martinez - Myrtle S. Finney: Illiana Martinez is an Instructional Assistant at Finney Elementary with 17 years of experience. Every school year, she aims to help her students meet their academic, behavioral, and social-emotional goals in RSP. She is most passionate about building connections and relationships with her students. Illiana was selected to participate in the classified employee teacher recruitment grant and is pursuing her Child Development degree emphasizing special education. Over her years of service, Illiana has been dedicated to providing the best learning environment for every child she works with.

Ericka Carrillo - Fred H. Rohr: Ericka Carrillo-Chambers is a devoted mother to two children and a fur baby. She first became involved with CVESD as a parent volunteer in Fred H. Rohr's library and was later recruited as a Noon Duty. Ericka also joined the PTA and SSC, volunteering her time in the office and other classrooms. She eventually became an IA/SA sub for SDC classes and applied for a part-time job as an IA-reading intervention. Her role has since expanded to include math support and CAASPP reading prep groups for 3rd-6th graders. Ericka has remained flexible and eager to take on new roles, motivated by the encouragement of principals and teachers to better prepare students for success. She is grateful to be named Classified Employee of the Year.

Maria Trinidad Nicasio – Los Altos: Maria Trinidad Nicasio is a Secretary Attendance Health Specialist at Los Altos School who has worked for the District since 1998. She started as a volunteer, then worked as a noon duty and nutrition employee and a clerical staff member at CVLCC, and eventually progressed to her current position. Over the years, Trini has had the pleasure of meeting and working with incredible individuals, including principals, teachers, and families. She consistently demonstrates a high level of customer service and a positive attitude. In addition to being a dedicated CVESD employee for 25 years, Trini is also an active parent at Silver Wing. When she is not at work, she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, and gardening.

Xochitl Jimenez – J. Calvin Lauderbach: Xochitl Jimenez has worked in education since 2010, becoming Lauderbach's LTT in 2015. She enjoys teaching literacy, recommending books, and aims to remember every student's name. Xochitl also supports the office, directs traffic, and assists at lunch tables when needed. Her additional responsibilities have given her a broader perspective of the school and strong relationships with colleagues.

Shawna Margetts - Camarena: Shawna Margetts is a Chula Vista native. She earned her B.S. in Business Management and began working for CVESD in 2018. Currently, she works at Camarena Elementary as the Attendance Health Secretary. She has three children: Mason (18) attends Bonita Vista High, Cole (14) attends Bonita Vista Middle, and Makenna (11) attends Camarena Elementary. Her husband works as a Captain for the Chula Vista Fire Department. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors with her family. Her hobbies include running, hiking, mountain biking, and camping.

Lupita Samaniego – Silver Wing: Maria Guadalupe Samaniego, “Ms. Lupita,” began as a substitute in 2009 as an instructional assistant, student aide, and clerical. She also worked as a Librarian starting in 2012 in Castle Park, Veterans, Olympic View, Juarez-Lincoln, and Silver Wing. She enjoys helping kids find books and showing them how to search for something they are interested in reading. I like to hear their thoughts when they finish a book and how eager they are to find another one they want. Being selected as classified employee of the year at Silver Wing is a privilege for Maria.

Elizabeth Castro – District Office: Elizabeth Castro has been the Attendance/Welfare Specialist since 2021. Before joining the Student Placement Office, she was the school secretary at Clear View Elementary School for five years. And before that, she worked as a substitute teacher in the Chula Vista Elementary School District. She received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Valley Forge in 2002. Since then, she has strived to create an environment that fosters invaluable student learning experiences. Her passion is constantly seeking creative ways to build relationships between staff, parents, and students to develop conditions that lead to successful results in the educational field. Outside of work, Elizabeth enjoys being the mother of three teenage boys who keep her busy attending their sports events. She is an active leader in her church community and loves to hang out with friends and make them laugh with her excellent sense of humor.

Shawn Duncan – Joseph Casillas: Shawn Duncan is a Behavioral Support Specialist at Joseph Casillas Elementary School dedicated to guiding students to reach their full potential. She values each child's worth and takes pride in working with compassionate teams. Shawn's parents instilled in her a strong work ethic and love for service. Her experience includes providing Special Education Strategies and Training, serving on Behavioral and Autism Support Teams, and supporting Dropout Prevention and Outreach initiatives. Outside work, Shawn enjoys spending time with her family, listening to jazz, and studying the Bible.

Ania Gobbi – Chula Vista Hills: Ania Gobbi has been with CVESD for 12 years and eight years at Chula Vista Hills as the School Secretary. One of her favorite roles is training new hire sub secretaries. She takes pride in having great relationships with each student and their families. She runs the PBIS Cheetah Store and loves seeing the student's eyes when they get to turn in their SPRINT tickets for a prize. She is thankful for the peaceful, positive family atmosphere at Chula Vista Hills and loves to serve as a CV Hills Mama Bear. She enjoys talking to all students, having great conversations, and getting fist bumps, hugs, and high-fives. CV Hills is her second home, and she loves to work there.

Georgina Huezo - Innovation Academy: Georgina Huezo has been with the Chula Vista Elementary School District since 1999. She is a native of Chula Vista and loves to laugh, dance salsa, and travel. She also considers herself an epicurean.

Socorro Fisher – District Office: In 1993, Socorro Fisher started volunteering at Lauderbach Elementary School and became involved in school activities. Principal Michael Humphry noticed her dedication and suggested she take the instructional aide test, leading her to work as a Volunteer Coordinator until June 1998. She then worked at Chula Vista Learning Community Charter School until 2000 before becoming a Clerk Typist II at ESSC Pupil Services from 2001 to 2005. She was then offered a position in the Facilities Department, where she has held various roles, including Facilities Technician and Secretary to the Director of Maintenance and Operations. She works as a Facilities and Planning Technician and has been in the department for 18 years, starting in July 2005.

Raul Meraz – Juarez-Lincoln: Raul Meraz started with the Chula Vista Elementary School District as a substitute custodian in 2001. In 2003, he became the daytime custodian at Juarez-Lincoln. Raul has been dedicated to the Juarez-Lincoln learning community for over 20 years! He keeps the campus in a pristine and safe condition so that students can thrive academically.

Beth Hart – Arroyo Vista: Beth Hart and her husband, Doug, have lived in Chula Vista for over 36 years, raising three children who attended Halecrest Elementary School. She worked at Halecrest in 1999 to protect computers from the Y2K bug and continued working at Thurgood Marshall, Allen School, Wolf Canyon, Salt Creek, Camarena, and Arroyo Vista. She will retire after a fulfilling career at the end of this school year.

Oscar Mercardo – Hazel Goes Cook: Oscar Mercardo has been working with the Chula Vista Elementary School District for the last 14 years, and eight of those years have been at Hazel Goes Cook Elementary. He loves to support students, parents, and staff and loves the challenges of being a school custodian.

Jennifer Cox – Valle Lindo: Jennifer Cox is a Chula Vista native who attended Lauderbach Elementary School during childhood. She began her career with the District in 2008 and has spent the past decade working at Valle Lindo. Her time there has been fulfilling and enjoyable, and she has cherished every moment. Recently, Jennifer has decided to return to school to pursue a career as an Occupational Therapist. She is excited about the opportunities this will bring and is eager to continue her lifelong learning journey.

Claudia Echeagaray – District Office: Claudia Echeagaray has worked for Language Development and Instruction Department for 17 years. She worked as an English Learner IA at Lauderbach for ten years. Then she was promoted to a Lead English Learner IA, working at the District office for five years before her current position as an English Learner Support Technician. She has enjoyed working with her team and the English Learner IA’s at the school sites.

Irma Martinez – Fahari L. Jeffers: Irma Martinez has been in the Child Nutrition Services Dept in CVESD for 15 years. She started at Arroyo Vista and transferred to Parkview 5 years ago. This year, she opened up Fahari L. Jeffers Elementary School in grand style with her wealth of knowledge and warm smile. She has stated that she enjoys coaching her CNS team to ensure they exceed CNS and County Health requirements so students enjoy nutritious meals and exemplary service daily. Irma prides herself on knowing the names of every single student, and she loves decorating the kitchen every month with fun themes and student artwork. This year, she will receive a Longevity Award for being an outstanding employee in the District for 15 years.

Angelica Buder – Halecrest.

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