He was one of six classified school employees of the year in Orange County. Now the Ocean View School District’s Efren Barrera is one of six in the state.
Barrera, who has been in the Ocean View district for 26 years, is California’s winner in the Maintenance, Operations and Facilities category for the 2016 Classified School Employees of the Year program. Described as an icon with an infectious smile, he maintains his quiet demeanor, positive attitude and incredible influence well beyond his role as a head custodian.
“Our schools would cease to function without the classified employees who keep them clean and safe, who make sure our students get to school and receive the proper nutrition once they are there, and who contribute to an overall positive school culture and caring environment,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.
Each year, the state identifies six exemplary classified school employees to represent each of the following categories: Child Nutrition; Maintenance, Operations, and Facilities; Office and Technical; Para-Educator and Instructional Assistance; Support Services and Security; and Transportation. The honor is open to current school classified employees who have served a minimum of five years in their particular category.
Colleagues say Barrera works hard every day to provide a safe, clean and problem-free environment for students so they can learn and be productive. But his contributions go beyond that. He is known as a role model, communicator, problem solver and innovator who strives to make a difference for kids.
Barrera and his fellow 2016 Classified School Employees of the Year will be honored by the state superintendent at a May 16 luncheon in Sacramento. To find out who the other winners are, or to learn more about the program, go here.