Three of this year’s California Classified Employees of the Year are CSEA members. Debora Watkins, Michelle Brobak and Ramon Moreno will be among the six classified employees honored by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond at a luncheon in Sacramento on May 23.
“Meeting students’ basic needs, as well as their social and emotional needs, is essential to ensuring that every student can learn,” said Thurmond. “These dedicated employees make sure that kids have healthy meals, safe transportation on school buses, and have someone to talk to during difficult times in their lives—allowing California’s students to reach their greatest potential.”
Food Service Cook, Westminster School District
Member, Westminster Chapter 34
Debbie Watkins has an incredible work ethic and goes above and beyond to ensure the cleanliness standards in the kitchen are impeccable and that all rules and regulations are followed. Considered one of the most reliable, hard-working individuals at the district, Watkins is responsible for planning, cooking, and distributing 7,500 meals to Westminster Elementary school sites each day. In the 24 years she has worked for the district, there has not been a single day that students have not received a meal.
School Secretary, Orinda Union School District
Member, Orinda Chapter 320
Michelle Brobak runs the Del Rey front office with heart. Students trust her and feel safe, as she is calm and reassuring—particularly when dealing with injured students and their concerned parents. On many occasions, teachers and staff report escorting a crying child to the office during yard supervision and witnessing Brobak quickly assessing the situation, providing necessary first aid, and ensuring the student feels safe and as comfortable as possible.
Bus Driver, Greenfield Union School District
Member, Greenfield Classified Chapter 526
Ramon Moreno is a bus driver for special education students who get services in other school districts in Monterey County. He is always conscientious about students’ feelings and well-being. There are times where his routes result in very long journeys due to traffic or delays. During these times, Moreno is in constant communication with parents and engages with students when they become irritable or sad. He personally communicates and informs parents of transportation time changes in his route. These are tasks that he does not have to perform but is willing to do to ensure students are comfortable and parents have peace of mind.
Benito Torres, Police Officer, Stockton Unified School District
Maria Arroyo, Behavior Specialist, Chula Vista Elementary School District
Kim Bramsen, Director of Maintenance and Operations, Ballard School District
The annual program honors six outstanding classified school employees from the following categories: Child Nutrition; Maintenance, Operations, and Facilities; Office and Technical Support; Para-Educator and Instructional Assistance; Support Services and Security; and Transportation. This year’s recipients were chosen from more than 100 nominations statewide.
For selection criteria and other information about this award, please visit the California Department of Education’s Classified School Employee of the Year web page.
Every year, CSEA members are recognized for their extraordinary contributions to their union and the students they serve.
Activist of the Year Award
California Classified Employee of the Year Award
California Community Colleges Classified Employees of the Year
Humanitarian of the Year Award
Life Member and Honor Roll
Member of the Year Award
Membership Unity Program & Award
Outstanding Service Awards
Recognizing Inspirational School Employees (RISE) Award
Victory Club Circle of Stars
Walter H. Blice Award