OCDE announces the 2022 Orange County Classified School Employees of the Year

Title with star Orange County Classified School Employees of the Year

A nutrition services assistant, a bus driver, a maintenance worker and a database specialist are among nine exemplary school workers who were announced Monday as the 2022 Orange County Classified School Employees of the Year.

The Orange County Department of Education selected this year’s winners from a pool of 86 district-level honorees based on their work performance, leadership, dedication and involvement with their schools and communities. 

“Classified workers are essential to the success, safety and wellbeing of our students, and at no time has this been more evident than during a global pandemic,” said Orange County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Al Mijares.

“The 2022 Orange County Classified School Employees of the Year have even further distinguished themselves through their commitment, compassion, creativity and character,” Mijares said. “On behalf of the Orange County Department of Education, I want to personally commend this year’s honorees for performing at the highest levels, often under difficult circumstances, in support of our schools and communities.”

Without further ado, here they are:

Clerical and Administrative Services
Sonia Arreguin
Administrative Technician
Orange County Department of Education
Alternative, Community, and Correctional Education Schools and Services (ACCESS)

Custodial and Maintenance Services
Jason Munier
Day Custodian
La Habra City School District

Food and Nutrition Services
Lorena Simerson
Nutrition Services Assistant
Santa Ana Unified School District

Health and Student Services
Sheri Saladow
Guidance Technician
Capistrano Unified School District

Evan Jacobs
Behavior Interventionist/Paraprofessional
Tustin Unified School District

Security Services
Erik Estrada
Campus Supervisor
Huntington Beach Union High School District

Skilled Trades
Luis Camarena
Skilled Maintenance Worker
Ocean View School District

Technical Services
Armando Gomez
Database Specialist
Los Alamitos Unified School District

Transportation Services
Shannon Lauricella
School Bus Driver
Garden Grove Unified School District

Honoring classified employees

The California Department of Education established the Classified School Employees of the Year program in 2008 to spotlight some of the unsung heroes within the education community, including custodians, instructional assistants, office clerks, technicians, bus drivers and other non-certificated staff members. Each year, school districts select their top candidates, who have the potential to win at the county, state and national levels.

In Orange County, which serves about 475,000 public school students, SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union partners annually with OCDE to recognize local employees throughout the county who help ensure campuses are safe, supportive and engaging learning environments.

All nine Orange County Classified School Employees of the Year are set to be formally celebrated during Classified School Employee Week, which starts May 15.

Each is now eligible to compete for honors through the California Department of Education, and if they advance, they could also be nominated for the national Recognizing Inspiring School Employees (RISE) awards program.

For more information on the Orange County Classified School Employee of the Year program, visit ocde.us/CSEY.