With an Olympic flair, the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) launched the 2008-09 program year with its annual Employee Recognition Day gathering on August 21, 2008 at the Scottish Rite Masonic Center in Sacramento. The 23rd annual event honored staff for years of service, recognized retirees, honored Employees of the Month, and introduced SCOE's Teacher of the Year 2009.
Approximately 700 employees heard of SCOE plans for the upcoming program year, enjoyed refreshments and visited informational displays presented by SCOE programs and campuses. The theme of this year's program was "Celebrating SCOE's Champions."
County Board of Education Trustee Brian Cooley welcomed employees and thanked them for their contributions to SCOE. "Every day that you go to work is another day dedicated to helping the students of Sacramento County achieve something. For that, you should all feel very proud," Cooley said.
Trustee Greg Geeting and SCOE Personnel Commission members Helena Hurst, Earl Walker and Christine Robinson assisted in honoring employees.
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.
"I cannot tell you enough how much I am impressed by the way you all continue to work together and shine, and in turn, help our students shine," Superintendent Gordon said. "Your service is exceptional. Your dedication is undeniable and so greatly appreciated. Our accomplishments, your accomplishments, embody our mission and values as an organization."
The featured guest speaker was Matt Strugar-Fritsch, a wheelchair athlete and the Development and Communications Manager for Disabled Sports USA Far West. He thanked SCOE employees for helping children with special needs.
"Thanks for what you are doing to help children," Strugar-Fritsch said. "And please keep up the work of encouraging people with disabilities."
Carson Creek High School Principal Linda Mitchell introduced SCOE's 2009 Teacher of the Year, Daniel Watts, who will represent SCOE in the annual Sacramento County Teachers of the Year program. Mr. Watts teaches graphic arts and design at Carson Creek Jr/Sr High School, an education program at the Sacramento County Boys Ranch.
Serving as master of ceremonies was SCOE Vocational Specialist Michael Laharty, who works at SCOE's Leo A. Palmiter High School campus.
Employees received door prizes contributed by area businesses, vendors, education supporters, and fellow employees. Contributions to the annual Employee Recognition Day food drive caused Sacramento Food Bank collection barrels to overflow. Employees also filled donation containers with personal care products 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 members of the Employee Recognition Day Planning Team:
- Karen Basurto-Atteberry (Child Welfare & Attendance)
- Lorraine Bishop (Special Education)
- Cathy Broyles (Administration)
- Teresa English (Student Programs)
- Beth Flory (Communications)
- Claudia Golsong (C-SAPA)
- Kimberli Harbert (AVID/Cal-SOAP/College Horizons)
- Sharon Ketcherside (Procurement Services)
- Ferrel Love (SELPA)
- Dawn McCarron (Technology Services)
- Sherri McFall (Administration)
- Kara Lynn Pomykala (Special Education)
- Linda Ponce (Community Schools)
- Cathy Sapunor (Communications)
- Joanne Spencer (Procurement Services)
- Andy Tsunekawa (Financial Services)
- Heather Styers (Administration)
- Wendy Thearle (District Fiscal Services)
- Kathleen Wheeler (Juvenile Court Schools)
- John Woodward (Communications)