Thursday, May 01, 2008
Rosa Thompson, who for more than 20 years has played a crucial role in the English as a Second Language Program at Barnard-White Middle School, was named today as one of the six inaugural winners of California’s Classified School Employees of the Year program.
“The state obviously wanted to set the bar high as they started this award, and they’ve set it very high indeed by making Rosa one of the recipients,” said Derek McNamara, Associate Superintendent for Personnel Services for the New Haven Unified School District. “Rosa’s work has directly benefitted hundreds of students during her career, and we’re immensely proud of her.”
Learn about all of the winners from the website of Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell.
Ms. Thompson has been a Resident Care Attendant in the English as a Second Language program (RCA-ESL) for 23 years. Her formal duties include testing of English learners and direct instructional support for students in core classrooms, but she performs a great many other tasks, including translating for parent conferences, making bilingual phone calls, teaching evening and Saturday parenting classes, supervising an after-school Homework Club, and assisting parents in acquiring food and clothing.
“Ms. Thompson is a true team player,” District Coordinator for Personnel Services Vicki Ballard wrote in her nomination papers. “She is flexible and eager to help out in any situation. There is no task that Ms. Thompson sees as impossible and no challenge that is too tough to handle.”
Ms. Thompson received the news of her award this morning, in a telephone call from State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell, who started the award this year “to acknowledge and honor the significant contributions made by these essential school staff members.”
“I was very honored -- and very surprised,” said Ms. Thompson, who was invited, along with the five other winners, to be the State Superintendent’s guest at a May 19 gala recognition luncheon in Sacramento. The luncheon will be part of California’s observation of the Classified School Employee Week, May 18-24.
The other winners are Anna Julian, food service lead cook at the Stacey Nutrition Center in the Westminster School District in Orange County; Cheryl Spurgin, lead custodian at Wildwood Elementary School in Yucaipa (San Bernardino County); Eddie Cooper, vehicle maintenance coordinator for the Fullerton School District; Lori Klingensmith, administrative assistant at Andrew Jackson Elementary School in Indio (Riverside County) and Joanne Gaylor, student services assistant at Bernard L. Hughes Elementary School in Modesto.
The six winners were among 81 nominees from throughout the state who underwent a local and state review process. At the state level, applications were reviewed by a team of job category experts, including at least one member representing local educational agency administration, one member representing employee job-alike groups, and one member provided by the California Department of Education who reviewed the candidates on the basis of at least five years of service in their nomination category.
Candidate evaluation was organized around four themes: work performance, school/community involvement, leadership and commitment, and service above and beyond.
The California Classified School Employees of the Year Award is sponsored by the California Department of Education in partnership with the California School Employees Association, Service Employees International Union, California Teachers Association, California Federation of Teachers, Association of California School Administrators, and business and industry organizations.