Oakland Unified School District Honors 2019-20 Classified Employees of the Year

PRESS RELEASE Sunday, April 19, 2020Contact: John SasakiCommunications Director 510-214-2080[email protected]

Oakland, CA — Despite the current shelter in place and the closure of all OUSD schools, the business of the District continues. One important thing that happens at this time every year is the formal recognition of outstanding work by our employees. At the first Board of Education meeting of April, the Directors celebrated our Classified Employees of the Year. Six employees from across the District received honors, and they come from Child Nutrition, Maintenance, Operations and Facilities, Office and Technical, Para-Educator and Instructional Assistance, School Security and Support, and Transportation. Along with quotes from the people who nominated them, here are the 2019-20 OUSD Classified Employees of the Year!
Lawana Wyatt, Child Nutrition
Food Service Manager at Oakland High Central Kitchen

“Lawana not only cooks for the high school that hosts one of our central kitchens, she plans and prepares food for fifteen additional schools! She communicates clearly and concisely so everyone knows what they should be doing; she makes sure her kitchen is well organized and a safe and clean place to work.”

“An oven goes out or pipes break, and she has to do a 180º turn around. Whenever there is an emergency, we can count on the fact that Ms. Lawana jumps right in! Her priority is the kids in the District and her staff.”
Tanya Chatman, Maintenance, Operations & Facilities
Custodian at Melrose Leadership Academy

“Aside from her role as Custodian, Ms. Tanya is always willing to be one of the gentle disciplinarians. She will host students and show them how to maintain the building so they learn additional responsibility. She is so motivated; she always comes to work with infectious enthusiasm and energy.”

“Ms. Tanya glows on the inside and it spreads out. Her positive energy is not just for her, but it spreads all throughout the school and impacts everyone who walks through the door.” 
Rodolfo Perez, Office & Technical
Outreach Consultant at Greenleaf Elementary

“All of our families, regardless of race or ethnicity, know that they can reach out to Rodolfo for support, whether they have a school concern or a need at home. Rodolfo is a team player in the truest sense of the word.”

“When our families struggle, he puts them in touch with resources. Whenever he meets with families, he reaches them by talking about values, always with kindness, but he tells it like it is.  He asks for commitment, and because of the respect they have for him, they willingly do as he requests.” 
Diana So, Para-Educator & Instructional Assistance
Para-Educator at Chabot Elementary

“Diana has set a model for the other Para-Educators through an understanding of her students’ needs, consistent follow through, and her ability to adapt moment by moment to her students’ complex social and behavioral needs!”

“Regardless of the level of her students’ disability, she is able to facilitate their being part of their class community. Helping maintain student confidentiality; more often than not, it is not obvious which students are “hers,” as she is engaging everywhere within the classroom.”
Jacqueline Simon, School Security & Support
School Security Officer at Frick Impact Academy

“If there’s an issue, any of us can call on the walkie-talkie and she arrives like magic and stands at the door. She doesn’t have to do anything more than that! Most of the time the student will be able to readjust; and then she’ll have a talk with them.”

“As much as I like to think I connect with our students there have been many times where I arrive at a point where I am not speaking the students’ language and that is when I call Ms. Jackie. She’s just an incredible natural counselor.” 
William Taylor, Jr., Transportation
Truck Driver for Warehouse Distributions

“William has been right there taking his own personal time to ensure the students had their Chromebooks and that there were enough desks; he personally delivered sack lunches to all three temporary school sites.“

“In the absence of a warehouse person, he ran the warehouse ensuring receipt of deliveries, creating spreadsheets to help with organization of warehouse equipment, on-hand stock and inventory of cafeteria supplies. He absolutely thinks outside the box looking for ways to work more efficiently.”
OUSD congratulates these outstanding employees and thanks them for their service in support of our students, staff and families.
###About the Oakland Unified School DistrictIn California’s most diverse city, Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) is dedicated to creating a learning environment where “Every Student Thrives!” More than half of our students speak a non-English language at home. And each of our 83 schools is staffed with talented individuals uniting around a common set of values: Students First, Equity, Excellence, Integrity, Cultural Responsiveness and Joy. We are committed to preparing all students for college, career and community success. 

To learn more about OUSD’s Full Service Community District focused on academic achievement while serving the whole child in safe schools, please visit OUSD.org and follow us @OUSDnews.
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