By Carol Lawson-Swezey
Nineteen employees exemplifying the best of the best in the Clovis Unified School District for the 2013-2014 school year were recognized Feb. 17 at the annual Crystal Awards Ceremony at the district’s performing arts center.
The employees, who embody the district’s philosophy of excellence in mind, body and spirit, were awarded a plaque, a brick with their name on the district’s “Walk of Fame” located in the courtyard outside the professional development building and a $500 grant to be used at their site. The rectangular, clear crystal-like plaque is engraved with the winner’s name and the year awarded as well as the school/department they work for.
“The Crystal Awards are a wonderful way to honor those employees who are truly going above and beyond in their jobs, all to the ultimate benefit of our students,” said CUSD Communications Specialist Susan Wise, who coordinates the Crystal Awards program for the district. “The honor of winning a Crystal Award is even greater considering that winners were all nominated by their supervisors and peers.”
The honors have been awarded since 1992, originally as Employee of the Year awards. At that time, there was one each in the categories of teacher, classified employee, volunteer and management. The name “Crystal” originated as an acronym for Clovis Unified Recognizing Your School Teachers And Leaders. The number of winners has varied year to year as the program has evolved, averaging 29 individual winners.
Nominees are evaluated in three categories: how they exemplify the District’s core values in their work, how their work drives the District forward and letters of support.
2013-2014 Crystal Award Winners: Linda Amparano, Student Relations Liaison, Pinedale Elementary; Monica “Miss Momo” Brewer, Instructional Aide, Nelson Elementary; Cecelia Dansby, Sixth Grade Teacher, Dry Creek Elementary; Rhondda Drilling, Technology Repair Parts Clerk, Information Technology Services; Arlene Eberly, Program Specialist, Special Education; Jeanne Frye Prandini, RN, MSN, CPNP, Director of Nursing Services; Michelle Gutierrez, First Grade Teacher, Garfield Elementary; Ralph C. Guzman, Plant Supervisor I, Woods Elementary; Maggie Ikeda-Pendleton, School Nurse, Alternative Education; Donna K. Lutjens, Teacher, Buchanan High; Joe Marquez, Science Teacher and Instructional Technology TSA, Alta Sierra Intermediate; Kathy Nation, Resource Specialist, Pinedale Elementary; Cathy O’Neill, Student Activities Specialist I, Temperance-Kutner Elementary; Renae Prentice, T.K./Kindergarten Teacher, Fancher Creek Elementary; Stacey Schiro, Clovis High Physical Education Instructor, CHS Pep and Cheer Head Coach, and Clovis United Director; Jeff Suglian, Athletic Director, Reyburn Intermediate; Don Ulrich, Assistant Superintendent, Facility Services; Pheng Vue, Consulting Systems and Application Analyst, Information Technology Services; and Rebecca Wilson, Academic Block Teacher, Clark Intermediate.