The San Bernardino County Board of Education will honor Hook Junior High School’s Paula Gonzales as one of this year’s county Classified Employees of the Year during a ceremony following the board’s meeting on April 10.
Gonzales, a longtime administrative assistant at Hook Junior High in Victorville, was one of four recipients chosen out of approximately 18,000 classified workers across the county’s 33 school districts and 540 schools.
Gonzales, the only High Desert award winner this year, is the recipient in the category of Office and Technical. Nominators praised her work ethic, professionalism and commitment to students and fellow staff members, not just at Hook but throughout the Victor Valley Union High School District.
“I can confidently say that Paula Gonzales is by far the most productive classified employee I have ever witnessed,” wrote Daryl Bell in his nomination letter. Bell is Interim Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources for VVUHSD and a former Principal at Hook.
Nominators, including current Hook Principal Carlos Cerna and VVUHSD Classified Personnel Director DeShawn Dickinson, wrote about Gonzales’ tireless dedication to students, including spending extra hours helping with Hook’s after-school program and organizing an outdoor exploration trip to Lake Havasu for students each year.
“Along with our outstanding teachers, classified employees are the lifeblood of our district,” VVUHSD Superintendent Dr. Ron Williams said. “They serve our students in myriad ways, including transportation, food service, assisting with classroom instruction and making sure students have a safe, clean environment in which to learn. Paula epitomizes the commitment that our classified employees demonstrate every day, and we are privileged to have had her in our district for all these years.”
Gonzales will retire after this school year, her 21st at Hook.
This is the ninth year the California Department of Education has offered the Classified Employees of the Year program. County nominees were submitted by their school districts and selected by a judging panel for the statewide program. The county winners advance to a California Classified Employees of the Year competition. The state recipients will be announced later in the spring.
County honorees will be recognized April 10 at the County Board meeting held at the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools’ Roy C Hill Education Center, located at 601 N. E St. in San Bernardino.
The other three winners this year are Lisa Frye, special education instructional aide, Mesa View Middle School, Yucaipa-Calimesa Joint Unified School District; Patrick Gonzales, custodian II, Rolling Ridge Elementary School, Chino Valley Unified School District; and Lisa Mattei, health technician, Chapman Heights Elementary School, Yucaipa-Calimesa Joint Unified School District.
Photo Caption: Hook Junior High School Administrative Assistant Paula Gonzales, center, has been named one of the San Bernardino County Classified Employees of the Year. Victor Valley Union High School District staff and family members surprised her with news of the award on Wednesday afternoon. With Gonzales, from left to right, are her daughter Selina Gonzales (an office assistant at Victor Valley High), David “Wes” Gregg (president of the VVUHSD chapter of the CSEA union), Hook Principal Carlos Cerna, Gonzales’ son Richard Gonzales (an office assistant for VVUHSD), Hook Dean of Students Tim Langston and VVUHSD Superintendent Dr. Ron Williams.