The Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) launched the 2005–06 program year with its 20th annual Employee Recognition Day inservice on August 16. Held 8:30 a.m. to 12 noon at the Scottish Rite Masonic Center in Sacramento, the 20th annual event honored staff for years of service to SCOE, recognized retirees, honored Employees of the Month, and introduced SCOE's Teacher of the Year 2006.
Approximately 700 employees heard SCOE's plans for the 2005-06 program year, enjoyed refreshments, and visited informational displays presented by SCOE programs and campuses. The year's theme, "SCOE TWO-0," reflected the twentieth anniversary of SCOE's Employee Recognition Day event.
County Board of Education President Sylvia J. Ruiz welcomed employees and thanked them for their contributions to SCOE. David W. Gordon, County Superintendent of Schools, recounted the many ways the County Office both supported and led efforts to secure quality education for all students in the prior year. "All of you — whether you are teachers, paraprofessional educators, administrators or support staff — play a vital role in serving the students and younger children entrusted to our care," he said. Superintendent Gordon highlighted some of the year's accomplishments and touched on areas on which the County Office will focus in 2005-06 and beyond. Among the programs mentioned were SCOE's direct instruction to students, continuation of Williams legislation school monitoring, School Assessment Intervention Teams (SAIT), Preschool for All, prevention/intervention, career and technical education, professional development for teachers and administrators, SCOE's Sly Park outdoor education program, and district fiscal oversight. He told employees that in the years ahead, "Together we'll be able to provide the help each local district needs in order to improve its programs. We'll make a difference in the life of every single child we serve." He concluded by thanking employees for their "hard work, enthusiasm, deep caring and unflagging commitment to excellence."
Dave Gordon also introduced two new members of the SCOE leadership team who will shortly assume their positions: Tim Taylor, who will serve as Assistant Superintendent, Court and Community Schools/Career-Technical Programs, and Tim Herrera, who will serve as SCOE's Director of Communications.
Special Education Principal Mary Jo Johnson introduced SCOE's Teacher of the Year 2006, Cathy Goodrich. Cathy Goodrich, who will represent SCOE in the annual Sacramento County Teachers of the Year program, teaches young adult special education students in SCOE's classroom at the Galt High School class. Joining Mary Jo Johnson and Superintendent Dave Gordon on stage in recognizing Cathy Goodrich was SCOE's Teacher of the Year 2005, Joy Bonds-Baird, who shared some of her Teacher of the Year experiences.
David Wu, a member of the top-scoring Bella Vista High School Academic Decathlon team, presented the speech that earned him a gold medal in the 2005 Sacramento County Academic Decathlon. The Sacramento County Academic Decathlon is coordinated each year by the Sacramento County Office of Education. David's speech addressed the subject of freedom, personally narrating how his parents' search for it led them to a new life, and new educational opportunities, in America.
Serving as master of ceremonies for Employee Recognition Day was SCOE Vocational Specialist Michael Laharty, who works at SCOE's Leo A. Palmiter High School campus. In addition to announcing recipients of service awards, Michael introduced a series of "Who Are You?" video interviews of SCOE employees telling about their work. Featured in interviews were:
- Nancy Blackburn (Juvenile Court Schools/Esperanza Junior-Senior High School) Carolyn Foster (Internet & Media Services)
- Michele Mickela and Rebecca Robison (Personnel)
- Scott Dowell, Susan Fletcher, Randi Knutson and Linda Swanson (Outreach and Technical Assistance Network)
- Dale Barredo, Carl Curtis, Bev Haffner and Kelly Kuhl (Leo A. Palmiter High School Regional Occupational Program)
- Patricia Alexander (Special Education/Supporting Early Education Delivery Systems)
Door prizes contributed by area businesses, vendors, education supporters and employees were awarded. Contributions to the annual Employee Recognition Day food drive amounted to more than 1,200 pounds, overflowing the Sacramento Food Bank collection barrels. Employees also filled two donation containers with personal care products earmarked for the students and families served by Project TEACH, a SCOE program aimed at ensuring that homeless children remain continuously enrolled in school.
The event was coordinated by the Employee Recognition Day Planning Team, comprised of:
- Karen Basurto-Atteberry (Child Welfare & Attendance)
- Lorraine Bishop (Special Education)
- Randy Castro (Computer, Network & Telecommunication Support)
- Beth Flory (Administration)
- Susan Gettings (Computer, Network & Telecommunication Support)
- Kimberli Harbert (AVID/Cal-SOAP/College Horizons)
- Dawn McCarron (Outreach & Technical Assistance Network)
- Larina Morgan (Special Education)
- Kara Lynn Pomykala (Special Education)
- Linda Ponce (Juvenile Court Schools)
- Cathy Sapunor (Administration)
- Robin Satow (Computer, Network & Telecommunication Support)
- Kathleen Wheeler (Juvenile Court Schools)
- John Woodward (Technology Services)
- Karen Youngblood (Special Education)
Special assistance was provided by:
- Cheryl Benner & Gayla Smith (Transportation)
- Kris Silbaugh (BTSA)
- Diana Welty (Capital Region System of District & School Support)
- Lin Baerresen, Yolanda Craig, Valerie Dunfee, Susan Johnson, Karen Turner and Vicki Williams (Special Education)
- Cathy Broyles, Sherri McFall, Carla Miller and Maryanna Rickner (Administration)
- Carolyn Foster (Internet & Media Services)
- Tom Adams, Mary Fager and staff of Support Operations/Facilities Services
- Paul Roesch and staff of Printing & Production Services
- Carol Alexander, Rosana Chavez, Kim Cummings, Sylvia Holloway and Karen Robison (Personnel)
- Andy Tsunekawa (Financial Services)
- Sal DeLeon and staff of Friday Night Live staff (Prevention & Student Services)
- Young Voung & Zhaorong Wu (Scottish Rite Masonic Center)