The second school board meeting of May 2021 kicked off at 7 pm sharp. With no action taken in the closed session and no public comment the board meeting quickly turned to an impressive array of videos and presentations to highlight PJUSD staff.
First to take the lectern was Secretary of the CSEA Demetrius Sivao, who when finished, received a round of applause from the board and audience in attendance. Sivao delivered a powerful speech that demanded attention as he started off with a history lesson regarding California's Senate Bill 1552 which recognizes Classified School Employees week. Afterwards he highlighted the contributions that classified employees have made during the Covid-19 pandemic and said that employees have really stepped up to the challenge in making sure students were able to continue their education.
“This week belongs to each and every one of you,” said Sivao. “Because of our loving Nutrition Department, the children and families in our community received food every day during our lockdown. Another department that never shutdown was our amazing maintenance and grounds department. Our [paraeducators], Campus Supervisors and ASP staff made it possible for cohort and staff childcare rooms to be available and provide much needed services...Last but never the least is our IT Department. Our IT Department was the reason virtual learning was possible. They were the reasons teachers were able to provide much needed distance learning and kept our connections with our students. With that being said, we would like to thank each and every one of you for playing a part in this, for we know, as our President Christina Garcia always likes to talk about, a diamond in the rough. We all know the process of diamonds, sometimes it has to go through the fire, but we have made it possible for us to appreciate the work that has taken place within our district and we couldn’t have done it without all of us coming together with communication and just being willing and taking initiative to bring our kids back.”
Next up was a brief video of supervisors across the district recognizing individuals in their departments for CSEA employee of the year. The list of recipients is as follows: Mitzi Delgado After School Program, Denise Perez Apricot Valley, Rina Hall Autism Program, Delia Jurado Nutrition Services, Vicky Brambilla Creekside, Jessica Garcia Del Puerto & Open Valley, Miriam Muniz District Office, Maria Ariana Orozco-Zarate Grayson, Eren Vasquez Haro Health Services, Adrian Patterson IT, Ashley Alldredge Las Palmas, Irma Olvera Northmead, Lauren Cozart Patterson High, Guadalupe Tinoco Walnut Grove, Amanda Ramsour Rising Sun, Virginia Sandoval West Valley Learning Center, Alfred Edegman Maintenance.
“On behalf of our board of trustees and our entire district management team I would like to congratulate all of our CSEA classified employees of the year,” said Superintendent, Phil Alfano. “Additionally, I would like to recognize all of our employees for the fantastic teamwork that you have shown during this pandemic crisis. We’re looking forward to getting back to normal next year, and I really hope that we can celebrate together in one location your accomplishments and your achievements during the 21-22 school year...Thank you for the hard work that you put in everyday for our students and community.”
Assistant Superintendent Veronica Miranda led the next presentation, a commemorative video on United Patterson edited by PJUSD Grants & Communications Coordinator, Johnny Padilla. The video started with a conference table featuring Miranda (left), Alfano (center), and Padilla (right), all facing the camera and welcoming viewers to a virtual United Patterson Luncheon. The video then segued to pictures of students around the district with voice over narration by the trio reviewing the obstacles of the year while also stating United Pattersons mission, purpose and objectives.
“United Patterson was created as an initiative centered around education as a means for our community's growth and prosperity,” said Miranda.
Padilla continued with, “It is a support system that empowers its members to take the ‘no excuses’ philosophy that we teach our students and extend it to our community as a whole, and urges our community leaders to have a plan so that our vision and our commitment to our children and families remains at the forefront of our actions.”
Presentations by staff were next on the agenda. This section was used to honor the CSEA employee of the month, Tyler Vash of IT. At one point during the pandemic, Tyler was the only IT member on site handling tickets and work orders for all of the schools in the district and he reportedly took care of about 1,500 tickets all on his own.
“When Covid first hit, for various reasons the majority of the IT team was out and Tyler was one of the only IT members on the field by himself, “said Tyler’s coworker, Adrian Ramirez. “At that time it was a lot. We were pretty remote at the time and a lot of tickets were coming in and Tyler was the only IT member that was out on the field. I believe in the timespan of that month he took care of about 1,500 tickets give or take by himself. It's just one example of many why I'm proud to work alongside Tyler and have him as a coworker here at the Patterson Unified School District and I just want to say thank you Tyler for everything that you do for us.”