The Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) is one of 58 county offices located throughout the state. Approximately 650 regular and more than 950 temporary and substitute SCOE staff work year-round providing services that complement and supplement those offered by public school districts in Sacramento County.
Classified Employee of the Month
Maria Esparza, a Community Schools Registrar, was nominated by Principal Carol Guardia for her contributions to the Sacramento County Office of Education. Ms. Esparza is SCOE's first contact with school districts, new students and their families. She receives referrals from districts, reviews them for completeness, arranges enrollment appointments, interviews parents and students and brings back this information to share with the Community Schools team so that students may be appropriately placed. Because so many students entering the Community Schools program have not attended school regularly, or have attended school in numerous districts, Ms. Esparza must serve as a "detective" to gather information – such as credits earned – regarding the students' educational history. She is also the keeper of student transcripts, grades and records. She was instrumental in the induction of the new SOLAR student database and has worked closely with SCOE personnel to refine it to meet SCOE's needs. Ms. Esparza has been a major contributor to the recently implemented Truancy Court and Prosecutor Conferences, which have resulted in improved attendance among students. As the liaison to the Sacramento County District Attorney’s office, she helps determine which students are in need of intervention, researches student attendance, and forwards the information to facilitate bringing students and parents or guardians to the court. Ms. Esparza's communication skills in both English and Spanish have been valuable to the Community Schools program. She is a resource for parents, students and staff. Her supervisor says Ms. Esparza's "ability to see the overall program, its needs and direction" makes her a strong asset to Community Schools and that she is "a consummate professional. Both North Area and Palmiter Community Schools are greatly enhanced by having Maria as a primary member of our staff." Ms. Esparza has been employed by the Sacramento County Office of Education since May 1999.
Certificated Employee of the Month
Sharon Botkin, a Preschool Teacher with the Special Education Department, was nominated by Principal Sharon Holstege for her contributions to the Sacramento County Office of Education. Ms. Botkin teaches preschool-age children in SCOE's SH (Severely Handicapped) Program. She serves 12 students with severe disabilities who are dually enrolled in HeadStart programs. She works with HeadStart staff at two different school sites (Northview Preschool and Watt Avenue HeadStart) to provide an inclusive, developmentally appropriate preschool program for her students. Ms. Botkin is an advocate for early education and has positively influenced early education programs in numerous ways, such as creating a process to more successfully transition students who are exiting her program into a kindergarten program, serving as a SEEDS (Supporting Early Education Delivery Systems) visitation site to demonstrate to other districts in the state what model preschool inclusion programs look like, and participating in a state pilot for a preschool assessment for students with disabilities. According to her supervisor, "Sharon is one of the most conscientious people I know. She works hard to provide a quality education to her students as well as providing support to families during these formative years." Ms. Botkin has been employed by the Sacramento County Office of Education since November 2001.