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.
Classified Employee of the Month
Debi Lauer, Job Developer/WorkAbility, was nominated by Principal Lauren Roth for her contributions to the Sacramento County Office of Education. Ms. Lauer, headquartered at SCOE's Leo A. Palmiter Jr./Sr. High School campus, works one-on- one with students in SCOE and other school districts to help them prepare for life beyond high school. She assists them with job searches, applications, and interview preparation. Once the student is placed in a work setting, Ms. Lauer provides job coaching as needed and checks on the student weekly. She meets with parents and guardians during students' periodic special education IEP (Individualized Education Program) meetings. She introduces parents and guardians to SCOE services such as the Transition Partnership Program (TPP), which is coordinated in partnership with the California Department of Rehabilitation and which follows students three years after graduation. Ms. Lauer also meets with business owners and managers to describing SCOE's WorkAbility program and its student participants. She develops internship and employment opportunities at Palmiter and SCOE's community school campuses, as well as at school settings within Natomas, River Delta, and Galt school districts. Her supervisor says, "Ms. Lauer understands the capabilities of students and conveys the strengths of students to potential employers. Knowing the strengths and needs of students, she is able to match their attributes to the type of business and job duties. She is known for her excellent follow-up and coordination with parents, teachers, and all stakeholders, and is an integral member of the team that presents the annual Transition Fair for SCOE students." Ms. Lauer has been a SCOE employee since 1985.
Certificated Employee of the Month
Michael Laharty, Vocational Specialist/WorkAbility was nominated by Principal Lauren Roth for his contributions to SCOE. Mr. Laharty, whose work is centered at SCOE's Leo A. Palmiter Jr./Sr. High School campus, coordinates with special education teachers and families to prepare students for independent living, education, and employment opportunities. He provides resources and curriculum assistance to SCOE's special education and community schools staff on school-to-world topics, as well as training special education staff in preparing Individual Transition Plans centered on each student's goals for employment, education, and living both during and post-high school years. Mr. Laharty coordinates SCOE services such as the Transition Partnership Program (TPP) with the California Department of Rehabilitation and oversees WorkAbility and TPP grant budgets. His supervisor says, "Mr. Laharty is positive and always willing to help on the various campuses he serves—Palmiter and Galt ED programs (serving students with emotional disturbance), community schools, and special education programs serving SH students (those with severe disabilities) throughout the county, including Rio Vista and Galt." He leads a team of special education staff responsible for producing SCOE's annual student Transition Fair, TPP orientation, health fairs, mock interviews, Job Club, and the School-to-World Awards ceremony. He participates on SCOE's CTE (Career Technical Education) Advisory Committee and has developed trainings in transition, Positive Behaviors Interventions and Supports (PBIS), and "best practices" in teaching students who have emotional challenges. Concludes his supervisor, "Mr. Laharty has a great sense of humor and is organized, student-centered, and knowledgeable in the transition process for students having special needs. He thoroughly understands how to best provide opportunities and support for our special education students." Mr. Laharty was previously honored as SCOE's September 1993 Certificated Employee of the Month and as the 2001 SCOE Teacher of the Year. He was additionally named as one of two Sacramento County Teachers of the Year for 2001. For numerous years, Mr. Laharty has served as master of ceremonies for SCOE's annual Employee Recognition Day back-to-school in-service event. Mr. Laharty has been a Sacramento County Office of Education employee since 1991.