Employee of the Year

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2018-2019 Honoree Photograph


2018-2019 Honoree Dedication

Jonya Meyer K-3 Primary 2   

“Jonya Meyer is a fantastic, hard-working teacher. Her classroom is full of eager learners who are cared for and supported. She has implemented flexible seating which motivates her students, keeps them focused, and supports their various learning styles.Jonya fills many critical roles for both Manteca Unified and Great Valley. She is the Grade Level Leader for our third-grade team. In this role, Jonya disseminates information from Great Valley admin as well as the District. She is exceptionally organized, meets all deadlines, and is always focused, supportive, and positive. Jonya is co-chair of our PBIS committee, a role she takes seriously. She gives valuable input on ways to continue the positive climate and culture at Great Valley! Jonya serves as a mentor teacher and goes above and beyond in this capacity. She also coaches our cross country team and instills a healthy lifestyle in our students. Jonya attends numerous trainings and professional development so she can continue to grow as an educator.” — Jacalyn A. Davis, Principal of Great Valley School


Melissa DeMatteo - intermediate 1    “Melissa DeMatteo believes that children need a creative space to learn and thrive. Her classroom reflects this philosophy with a truly comfortable and inviting tone. Each day begins with a class meeting and setting goals for the day. Students chose their seating for the day. The seating options are plentiful. There are yoga balls, chairs with bike pedals, couches, benches, office chairs and comfy chair pads on the ground. Each option helps students not only be engaged in their learning, but also burn some energy so that they can learn. You can find students comfortably reading on the couch or working collaboratively at a café table. The scene is never the same, but in a good way!” — Sherrie Jamero, Principal of Walter Woodward School
Scott Pope - jr high 1    “Scott Pope wanted to make a difference in the life of students with special needs, and he does this with compassion and humor. He works very hard to make the learning engaging, but also appropriate for the learning level of each student. This is no small task. He spends lots of time looking for materials to modify the 7th & 8th grade curriculum for his students. History and science are areas were students excel as they have the materials that they can read and understand on topics that oar covered in their grade level curriculum. On any given day, you can see Scott prepping a new math study guide, activity or modifying curriculum to fits the needs and interests of his students..” — Sherrie Jamero, Principal of Walter Woodward School
Richard Marsh 9-12 Secondary 2   

“When one observes Richard Marsh in his teaching environment, the atmosphere of academic achievement and respect for learning is truly palpable in the air. Despite being in circles of collaboration and constant dialog, the level of calm matches the tones of Mr. Marsh himself. Students are immersed in curriculum that is rigorous yet reflects the ability of each individual to support optimum achievement. The evidence of achievement is equally supported by the data and growth shared with parents and the IEP teams that Mr. Marsh leads, which are all impeccably structured and consistently meet all timelines and aligned to state and district guidelines and expectations. More than once I have been met with true amazement as a student whose life is in utter turmoil and chaos is displaying achievement and a sense of calm in the educational setting Mr. Marsh creates through clear procedures and the connection of respect and encouragement Mr. Marsh creates with all of his students from the time he greets them as they enter his classroom until the release bell rings.” — Raul Mora, Principal of East Union High School


loretta tefertiller - support 1    “Loretta Tefertiller has been the go-to School Nurse for many of our younger School Nurses when it comes to students with mental health needs. She has developed a strong relationship with administrators who trust her judgement with students in crisis. In Loretta's spare time she continues to see developmentally delayed children through Valley Mountain Regional Center as a teacher and nurse. Loretta's dedication to children in their developmental, social, physical and emotional growth is only surpassed by her dedication to her family and friends.” — Leslie Agostini, Coordinator of Health Services
Mark Duncan - Maintenance 1   

“Mark Duncan deserves the accolade of Classified Employee of the Year because of his excellent workmanship and excitement to be part of the construction and design of the "Green Schoolyards" space at Brock Elliott Elementary School. While I was wrestling with the actual design of the seating, I submitted a work order with Maintenance for the seating installation and I asked Mark to meet with me to discuss ideas. Right away, Mr. Duncan communicated his enthusiasm for how the project would enrich the campus and the students' environment. He spent time with me on a few different occasions discussing the best design and approach for the outdoor classroom space. Once we agreed upon a design, Mark cleared out a timeframe in his busy schedule of regular duties as a Building Maintenance Specialist to purchase the materials needed and construct the benches. Mark's daily duties include the maintenance and repair of school sites and facilities. Mark not only found time to keep up with his required tasks, but to also prepare something beyond the tasks required of his position. I cannot emphasize enough Mr. Duncan's spirit, enthusiasm and willingness to work on a unique project and create something that the students would really benefit from and enjoy.” — Justin Geer, Construction Energy Technician


Brandy Hunt Office Manager   

“To say Mrs. Hunt does a phenomenal job as Office Manager and far exceeds what is expected of her would be an understatement! Brandi is timely, organized; and detailed-oriented. She is beyond knowledgeable and does her job exceptionally well. The Great Valley office is always busy, but this does not phase Brandi as she thrives in busy situations. She excels at multi-tasking and is able pick back up where she left off when interrupted. What truly sets Brandi apart is her warm, genuine personality and her ability to form relationships with all whom she encounters. Whatever reason Great Valley students come into the office, Brandi kindly greets them by name and expresses genuine interest in them. She is exceptionally respectful to parents in person and on the phone. Parents and visitors to our school always comment on how friendly and respectful she is. Parents often let me know how much they appreciate the care Brandi gave their child while they were sick in the office.” — Jacalyn Davis, Principal of Great Valley School

Rhonda Lopez - paraprofessional 2   

“Rhonda Lopez works extremely well with the variety of behaviors that are found in Mrs. Mackey's K-3 SDC classroom. There isn't a challenge that she isn't willing to take on. She was willingly MAB trained (Managing Assaultive Behaviors) and utilizes the strategies in a very effective way. I have witnessed Rhonda during volatile student episodes, and she has such a calm consistent manner which helps ease most situations. Rhonda deeply cares about her students and will make that very clear when she is speaking about them. She does a wonderful job working with students to help raise their self-esteem and self-efficacy. Rhonda is thorough with her work. She assists in planning appropriate lessons for her center and prepares all that is needed. She uses good judgement and is flexible when needed. Rhonda takes initiative and consistently used good judgement. When her students mainstream into the regular education classroom Rhonda steps up and offers to help support the teacher. She will often be found assisting the mainstream teacher with classroom events and activities. Rhonda works every year at our Fall Festival. She puts in many volunteer hours to assure that this will be a successful community school wide event, all of this is done with a smile on her face.” — Denise Buske, Vice Principal of Stella Brockman Elementary


Melissa Finch -  campus monitor   

“As a principal, you are encouraged to establish a leadership team on site and becuase our school is a bit unconventional and 1 do not have any other adminstrators on my site, I had to observe and determine who my site leadership team was going to be, Melissa Finch is definitely on my team. The experience and passion she has for working with troubled, at-risk youth and her dedication to our school site, made her a perfect addtion to my leadership team. I'm really not sure what I'd do without her! To say Melissa is an important part of the school community is an understatement. She is, often, a first responder to a student in crisis within the classroom setting. Her presence alone can take a very chaotic classroom back to a state where learning can take place. She fosters strong, positive relationships with students and make connections that might not otherwise happen. There are certain students that would rather spend time talking with Melissa, than their counselor. It is clear based on the numerous students who come back to visit Melissa, that she has had a great impact on their lives and she is committed to reaching all students she comes in contact with.” — Jillian Friend, Principal of Manteca Day School


2017-2018 Honoree Photograph


2017-2018 Honoree Dedication

 Rosie Calvo Prado K-3 Primary   “It is always a pleasure walking into Mrs. Prado’s class and seeing the independence in her students as well as collaboration. Mrs. Rosie Prado is truly an asset to our school and a remarkable individual who is a model for all of us to follow!” —David L. Silveira, Principal of Lathrop School
 Jennifer Spears, Intermediate take 3   “Mrs. Spears is one of those teachers that has so much energy and drive to help students reached their highest potential. Jennifer is a champion for all students. She values each child and what they bring, each day.” —Sherrie Jamero, Principal of Walter Woodward School
 Javier Dominguez - 7-8 Junior High   “Mr. Dominguez-Olea is an exceptional teacher. He is passionate about science and doing what is best for kids. We feel very fortunate to have Mr. Dominguez on our staff. He is caring and compassionate to our students and goes above and beyond to make Great Valley a great place to be for our community.” —Lisa Goodwin, Vice Principal of Great Valley Annex
 Marlene Martin 9-12 Secondary   “Marlene Martin has an integral presence on the Sierra High campus. She is a focused and energetic instructor in the English department and works tirelessly to meet the varying needs of her students, while keeping them engaged as active participants in their own learning.” — Anne Marie Shaw, Vice Principal of Sierra High School
 D'drea Black - Manteca Day   “Mrs. Black is the backbone that keeps the school running and our students on track. She is an advocate for students who might not otherwise have or believe in their voice. She provides students the opportunity to build confidence when their home circumstances really wouldn’t warrant that. To say Mrs. Black is an important part of the Manteca Day School community doesn’t do her justice.” —Jillian Friend, Principal of Manteca Day School
Nora Anaya, Para Educator    “Nora’s tenure at Sierra High School thus far has been a positive and successful demonstration of her commitment to the student body and staff. She goes above and beyond just knowing the basic skills required to do her job, and she sincerely cares for the growth and well being of the students.” — Anne Marie Shaw, Vice Principal of Sierra High School
 Lisa Mattos - Office and Technical EOY 2018   “Mrs. Mattos’ is an exceptional Attendance Clerk because she believes, whole-heartedly, that the best place for students to be, is in school. She advocates for student learning on a daily basis.” — Lori Guzman-Alvarez, Principal of Neil Hafley school

2016-2017 Honoree Photograph


2016-2017 Honoree Dedication

Melissa King 1    Melissa King is a 2nd grade teacher at Great Valley School, and she has been nominated as the Certificated Outstanding Primary Educator of the Year by her principal, Mrs. Patricia Boutte. Melissa has been teaching for 12 years. Mrs. Boutte says that “Melissa is an excellent teacher and is often the one others choose to observe when honing their own skills or taking other’s to observe a teacher.”
Jeanette Pacheco 1    Jeanette Pacheco-Seward is a 4th grade teacher at Great Valley School, and she has been nominated as the Certificated Outstanding Intermediate Educator of the Year by her principal, Mrs. Patricia Boutte. Her Vice Principal, Mrs. Lisa Goodwin, indicates that “Jeanie is passionate about education, her students and the Great Valley staff and community. Jeannie spends countless hours ensuring our students get cutting edge educational opportunities inside and outside the classroom.”
Kevin Niendorf    Kevin Niendorf is currently an 8th grade Math and Social Studies teacher at Great Valley Annex, and he has been nominated as the Certificated Outstanding Junior High School Educator of the Year by his principal, Mrs. Patricia Boutte. Senior Director, Mrs. Clara Schmiedt, indicates “Mr. Niendorf is an exceptional teacher, who truly cares about his middle school students. He enjoys working with middle school students and they enjoy his class. He has the respect and admiration of administration, his peers, parents, and students.”
Allison Birakos 1    Allison Birakos is currently the Student Activities Director and Business teacher at Lathrop High School, and she has been nominated as the Certificated Outstanding Secondary Educator of the Year by her principal, Dr. Michael Horwood. Lathrop High School Vice Principal, Mr. Greg Leland indicates “Allison does an outstanding job of leading Lathrop High School, and she is a primary reason that we have such a fabulous culture and climate on our campus. She is a positive example of everything that is good about teachers today.”
Heidi Azevedo 2    Heidi Azevedo is currently a Program Coordinator at August Knodt School and has been nominated as the Certificated Outstanding Support Services Educator of the Year by her principal, Mrs. Sherryl Price. Her Vice Principal, Mrs. Randi Souza indicates that “Mrs. Azevedo is dedicated to the staff, students and community of August Knodt. She encompasses all the positive qualities that our District stands for. Our school is successful because of Mrs. Azevedo’s positive impact. She makes our school and District proud every day.”
 Jim Jacobs 1   Our recipient in the Maintenance, Operations, and Facilities Category is Jimmie Jacobs. Jim is the Head Custodian II at Neil Hafley School and has been with MUSD for 37 years—32 years at Neil Hafley and 5 years at Sequoia previously. Nominated by his supervisor, Mrs. Lori Guzman-Alvarez states “Mr. Jacobs established a commitment to keeping Neil Hafley School impeccably clean and being the “go-to guy” for anything that the administration, staff, students or parents needed.”

Jim won in his category at the county level and will be moving on to the state level to represent Manteca Unified as well as San Joaquin County.
Rpobin Miller 1    Our recipient in the Office and Technical Category is Robin Miller. Robin is the Office Manager II at August Knodt School and has been with MUSD for 20 years. Nominated by her supervisor, Mrs. Sherryl Price states, “Robin has outstanding organization skills that is combined with high work ethics. As a dedicated and meticulous individual Robin has the ability to manage all kinds of secretarial and clerical tasks efficiently.”

2015-2016 Honoree Photograph


2015-2016 Honoree Dedication

2015-16 Rocio Gonzales Primary K-3    Rocio Gonzalez teaches a K/1 combination class at Brock Elliott School, and she was nominated for the Educator of the Year by her principal, Mrs. Debbie Ruger. Rocio has been teaching for 10 years. Rocio is extremely involved at her school and at the District levels, participating on a variety of committees and leading the charge as a technology champion and a math curriculum lead. She supports other professionals by working with new teachers, and training and helping co-workers. She is the true example of a lifelong learner.
2015-16 grade 4-6 Intermediate Elda Rodriguez    Elda Rodriguez teaches 5th grade at Great Valley Elementary School, and she was nominated by her principal, Mrs. Pat Boutte. Mrs. Boutte says that “Those who know Elda know that she is inspiring! She loves learning, and her enthusiasm is contagious! Elda celebrates her students’ successes with parents, her classroom community, and with administrators. She loves to teach science, in particular, but she is also an excellent trainer for site trainings. In fact, she is doing such a good job with training that she has been named a lead NGSS Rollout Trainer for the San Joaquin County Office of Education.
2015-16 Jr High 7-8 Martha Martinez    Martha Martinez teaches 7th grade language arts, social studies, and elective classes, nominated by her peer Brenda Madsen and her principal. Her principal, Mrs. Sherrie Jåçamero, states that “Mrs. Martinez makes learning an adventure!” One of her peers states that Martha is an “exceptional teacher who puts her heart and soul into her lessons, embracing the technology and infusing excitement into her students.” Martha is in many activities outside of the school as well as in her community.
 2015-16 Stephan Unterholzner 9-12 teacher   Stephan Unterholzner is a science teacher at Sierra High School, and he is nominated by his peer Dr. Larry Grimes and his principal, Mr. Steve Clark. Dr. Grimes states that Steve’s primary motivation is that his students not just be successful, but be innovative and independent learners.” Mr. Clark states that “Steve serves in a variety of site, district, county, and national leadership roles, and he is one of the finest teachers that he has ever known!
EOY Tony Barros    Our recipient in the Maintenance, Operations, and Facilities Category is Tony Barros. Tony is the Energy Education Technician in the Community Outreach & Innovative Programs Department and has been with MUSD for 17 years. Tony’s supervisor, Victoria Brunn states “Tony is always willing to go above and beyond. He is the first one to volunteer his services. He makes himself available to schools sites when needed, assists as a chaperone on school field trips, and is a volunteer for the City of Manteca Fire Department.”

Tony won in his category at the county level and will be moving on to the state level to represent Manteca Unified as well as San Joaquin County.
EOY Katy Jarnagin    Our recipient in the Office and Technical Category is Katy Jarnagin. Katy is a Clerical Assistant at Sierra High School and has been with MUSD for 10 years. Katy’s supervisor, Greg Leland states “Not only is her job performance outstanding, Katy continuously goes far above and beyond for the students and staff at our school. All of the students on our campus love and adore Katy. She has appeared in school rallies, singing and dancing. She has continuously donated to our school theatre, drafting program, and photography class.
EOY  Angie Geter    Our recipient in the Para-Educator and Instructional Assistance Category is Angie Geter. Angie is a Paraprofessional at Manteca Day School and has been with MUSD for 18 years. Angie’s supervisor, Gerald Braxton states “She connects with students through empathy, encouragement, and celebration of success. She constantly seeks to learn new procedures, techniques, and educational philosophies, through literature, presentations, trainings and conferences.”