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Board Recognizes May 2012 Employees of the Month

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 which complement and supplement those offered by public school districts in Sacramento County. Over 230,000 K-12 students are served by public schools in Sacramento County.

Classified Employee of the Month​​

Vanessa Edwards, Para-Educator, was nominated by Principal Lauren Roth for her contributions to the Sacramento County Office of Education. Ms. Edwards serves students enrolled in the ROP (Regional Occupational Program) Culinary Arts class instructed by Chef Jeffrey Zahniser at SCOE's Leo A. Palmiter Jr./Sr. High School campus. In addition to her work in the classroom and student-operated Culinary Café, she participates in the school's Student-Operated Store Advisory meetings and has provided numerous suggestions to boost marketing and sales. Her supervisor says Ms. Edwards is "dedicated, positive and encouraging of the students in her class. She is seen as going above and beyond and is a significant help with student-planning, organizing, presenting and support" for events such as a luncheon held for Chinese educators visiting from Guangdong, China, SCOE's annual Shamrock Cookie Sale and the SCOE Employee Wellness Fair. A recent project was the statewide ProSTART Culinary Competition held at the Sacramento Convention Center in March, during which Ms. Edwards provided integral support for participating students and the many parents and families who attended. She additionally serves the campus as a Medi-Cal assistant working with the School Nurse to organize and update student files. Concludes her supervisor, "Ms. Edwards is an asset to our Culinary Arts Program because she is a team player, hard worker, personable, organized, willing to help out in any situation, and well-respected by students in her class." Ms. Edwards has been employed by the Sacramento County Office of Education since March 1992.

Certificated Employee of the Month​​

Jeffrey Zahniser, ROP Instructor, was nominated by Principal Lauren Roth for his contributions to the Sacramento County Office of Education. "Chef Jeff," who instructs the Culinary Arts Program at Leo A. Palmiter Jr./Sr. High School, has developed a curriculum that helps ensure SCOE students are competitive in the restaurant and hospitality industry. He has credentials as a Certified Executive Chef (American Culinary Federation) and Certified Culinary Educator (National Restaurant Association). His background as a Certified ServSafe Instructor through the National Restaurant Association contributed to all of his students—within the first months of the school year—studying for and passing the test to earn themselves the ServSafe Food Handler's Certificate, a requirement through AB 1014 for employment in a California restaurant. Says his supervisor,"You cannot help but notice Chef Jeff's calm and patient demeanor, and his commitment to his students. His winning ways with students are evident. He not only teaches his students what they need in order to succeed in their future jobs, but also good ethics, being a reliable team member, and being a great employee. He is able to meet the needs of students with varying abilities and skills." In conjunction with the vision of Palmiter's "Sustainable Environments Pathway," Mr. Zahniser works closely with SCOE's ROP Horticulture instructor. He teaches students how to use organic produce in cooking and uses the school's organic garden to obtain fresh and seasonal produce. In addition to overseeing students as they serve weekly lunches at Palmiter's Culinary Café, he has been diligently preparing students to participate in the May SAGE (Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship) competition. Palmiter's "Urban Oasis" SAGE project will be a Farmers Market concept selling baked goods as well as the produce from the school's organic garden. His supervisor concludes, "Chef Jeff is well-respected by his students and fellow staff members. His philosophy is to build on each student's strengths and encourage each to understand that he or she can make a difference. He is creative and can easily and quickly bring a vision to reality." Mr. Zahniser has been employed by the Sacramento County Office of Education since August 2011.

Lauren Roth, Vanesssa Edwards, and Eleanor Brown

Trustee Eleanor Brown (right) and Principal Lauren Roth present a certificate of recognition to May Classified Employee of the Month Vanessa Edwards.

Jeffrey Zahniser and Brian Cooley

May Certificated Employee of the Month Jeffrey Zahniser (left) receives a certificate of recognition from Trustee Brian Cooley.